One fifth of women are main breadwinners

Almost one fifth of women say they are the main breadwinner in their relationship, according to a study by Scottish Widows.

The survey of 2,000 women revealed that 17% claim to be the main source of income in households across the UK.

The research found:

  • 49% of women are in charge of household finances
  • 32% are responsible for funding day-to-day necessities such as food, energy and clothing
  • 44% of couples share financial responsibilities equally.

Younger women more financially independent

Younger women are also becoming more financially independent than women from older generations:

  • 25% of women aged 25-34 say they are the main breadwinner of the household
  • 52% say they do not share bank accounts with their partner, compared to 39% of women overall
  • on average, British women feel financially independent at 22 years-old.

Childcare a "significant barrier"

Women continue to shoulder childcare responsibilities, despite the narrowing financial gender gap. 68% of women with children under 18 are responsible for looking after them, while 42% agreed with their partner to put their career on hold in order to look after children.

Many women believe that childcare duties negatively impact on their careers and their finances:

  • 26% of mothers say having children has affected their career progression
  • 37% say children have reduced their financial independence and spend up to half of their monthly salary on childcare
  • 15% say childcare payments amount to more than half of their monthly salary.

Jackie Leiper, women and savings expert at Scottish Widows, called on businesses to do more to support working women:

"Despite the huge strides that women have taken with finances, it is clear that childcare remains a significant barrier when it comes to career progression. We believe that both employers and the government should support families in balancing work and childcare responsibilities better."

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