In Atlanta, Women Are The Breadwinners

April 30, 2012  |  

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Women are steadily taking over the professional world and turning traditional gender roles on its head. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, single women from ages 22-30 with no children are earning more than men in 147 out of 150 US cities and Atlanta is number one on the list.

Although men still out-earn women nationwide, single young women earn 21 percent more than men in Atlanta. That’s not to say that the men haven’t been trying. Atlanta men saw a 48 percent increase in median earning from 2000 to 2010. But the ladies still beat their rise with a 71 percent increase.

It’s a pattern that author and journalist Liza Mundy, “The Richer Sex” has noted. Mundy believes that within a generation, more household will be supported by women than men.

“Women are still getting their minds around their new bread-winning status,” she told AJC. “Women are proud of their earnings … but they are still struggling to embrace the idea that they are providing not only for themselves but for others.”

Kristin Klingshirn, a cast member on Q100’s “The Bert Show,” in Atlanta is one of those proud and vocal top earning Atlanta women. She constantly discusses how she supports her live-in boyfriend on the show and engages the audience in gender role discussions.

“It makes [women] more attractive,” she said to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “By being able to take care of yourself and by being self-sufficient, it shows that you’re a hard worker. Reverse the roles, and that’s the way it’s been for decades. But all of the sudden, I pay the mortgage, and he’s a moocher.”

Part of the jump in women’s earnings is due to the amount of women getting degrees. The National Center for Education observed that 51 percent of doctoral degrees, 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and 60 percent of all master’s degrees were earned by women.

In addition, Sheryl Connelly, the manager of Global Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Co. notes that the economy is changing “from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy, which requires skills that women are generally recognized for having great capacity.”

But this trend isn’t simply a US accomplishment. Although Atlanta may be on top, the US is in fact lagging behind other countries in terms of women employment gains.

“This is not a Western or an American phenomenon,” Connelly said to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’s truly global. Fifty percent of all companies in Europe have women in senior management. … In China, 31 percent of their top executives are female, and that’s compared to only 20 percent in the U.S.”

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