On 25 April I presented a paper that I co-authored with Dr Agnese Vitali (University of Trento) at the annual British Sociological Conference at Glasgow Caledonian University. The paper is titled Breadwinning or on the Breadline? Female Breadwinners’ Economic Characteristics across 20 Welfare States. We critique existing research on work/family arrangements and welfare states for overlooking an increasingly prevalent arrangement across couples, which is that of the female-breadwinner family model. We show that, contrary to popular depictions of female breadwinners as empowered, high-earning women, many are ‘on the breadline’, in that they are among the poorest of all households.
On 14-15 March I attended the Nordic Welfare Research Conference at the University of Helsinki and presented my latest research. The research examines how family and labour-market policies shape women’s access to corporate board and executive positions across 24 OECD countries via a fuzzy-set analysis.
It was a strange experience presenting research on the lack of women in the most powerful positions while surrounded by paintings of white old men on the walls.
On 12-13 December 2018, I attended the Female-Breadwinner Families in Europe workshop organised by Dr Agnese Vitali. The day brought together researchers and policy influencers interested in the rise in female breadwinning. A key lesson from the presentations is that we need to distinguish between ‘pure’ female breadwinner families, in which the woman is the only earner while the man is unemployed, and women-as-main-earner families, in which the woman out-earns the man, but both are employed.