Female Breadwinning

Coverage in The Independent

*“Our findings shed doubt on popular depictions of female breadwinners as high-earning, empowered women – instead they are often lower-educated,” Dr Kowalewska told the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Glasgow.*I’m excited to say that my research on female breadwinners, co-authored with Dr Agnese Vitali, was featured in The Independent on 1 May!

April 2019 – BSA conference

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.

Conference on Female Breadwinning, London

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.