The Taxing Effects of Women’s Increased Earning Power

It’s April 15 and tax returns will undoubtedly reflect what our recent Breadwinner PheMOMenon research revealed … that nearly half of all U.S. women (49 percent) are now the primary breadwinner or are on par financially with their significant other, a trend that is progressing more quickly than even recent major studies predicted.

Seeking Purpose But Finding Stress
While women today may be seizing opportunities and providing for their families at unprecedented numbers, the vast majority of female breadwinners report they do not feel in control of their destiny, nor has their career given them a greater sense of purpose.

We are in the midst of one of the most significant socioeconomic shifts of this generation. As more moms bring home the dough, they are feeling increasingly empowered to make significant financial and purchasing decisions on their own, yet continue to say that they do not feel in command of their lives.

She’s the CEO, COO and CFO of Her Home
Women are moving beyond being influencers to the official head of the household in a notable number of U.S. families (click to tweet). An overwhelming 68 percent of breadwinning moms in the U.S. and over a third of all U.S. women surveyed (36 percent) say they make major financial decisions alone versus a mere 2 percent who say their spouse does. These additional decision-making responsibilities contribute to an increase in time starvation – with working, married moms reporting the highest degree of time starvation.

No Doubt about Debt
Working women define success differently depending on their age, but 87 percent, on average, agree that not having debt is key:

  • Baby Boomers (89 percent)
  • Millennials (84 percent)
  • Generation X (74 percent)

What does this mean for marketers? The research points to three specific areas.

  • help women feel in control of their destiny and find greater purpose
  • save her time
  • help her manage or reduce debt

That’s not too taxing, is it?

Kelley is a Partner and Director of Ketchum’s Global Brand Marketing Practice. She is the author of of the business book, Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women (Praeger/Mar 2009) and the architect of the widely-publicized Women 25to54 offering.