5/29/13 By: , cnbc

Women earn more than men in almost a quarter of U.S. households, a huge leap from 50 years ago, when only a handful of women brought home more income, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Women are now the leading or solo breadwinners in 40 percent of households, compared with just 11 percent in 1960, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by Pew.

That’s both good and bad, depending which part of the ladder you’re on: At the top, educated women are catching up with men in the workforce, but on the bottom rungs are more single moms than ever—most of them living near the poverty line.

(Read More: Mom’s Work, Never Done, Is Now Worth Less, Too)

“It’s a long-term trend since the ’60s that the breadwinner moms have gone up,” said Wendy Wang, a Pew research associate and the lead author of the report.

Seventy-one percent of husbands are working in households where women make more money than their spouses, and they have a median family income of $80,000, according to 2011 data.

In 1960, only 4 percent of women made more than their husbands; it’s now 23 percent. That translates into 5.1 million married “breadwinner moms.” Of those making more than their husbands, 49 percent have at least a college degree, 65 percent are white and 67 percent are between the ages of 30 and 50.


Women, who for generations were not in the workforce in the same numbers as men, are still catching up. The Pew study noted that despite the fact that women are now equally or better educated than their husbands, most men still earn more than their spouses.

While Oprah Winfrey and Marissa Meyer are often mentioned as high-profile examples of that trend, the other end of the economic spectrum is driving the numbers.

The other part of the female breadwinner equation focuses on the steep rise in unwed mothers. In 1960, only 5 percent of women with children were unmarried. In 2010, that number had increased to 41 percent, according to research from the National Center for Health Statistics cited in the Pew report. The median income for a single mother who has never been married was $17,400 as of 2011. That can include income from a job, child support and government assistance.

(Read More: No Paid Vacation? You Must Be an American)

Of the never-married mothers, 49 percent have a high school education or less, and 46 percent are 30 or younger; 40 percent were black, 24 percent Hispanic and 32 percent white.

The Pew survey also gauged opinion on more women becoming the primary breadwinner.”The public is really conflicted about the trend,” Wang said.

Overall, survey respondents liked the economic benefits to their families but also worried that work might take a toll on their children and marriages. About 67 percent said the change made it easier for families to earn enough money to live comfortably; about 28 percent said it was harder for families to earn enough, and 2 percent said it made no difference, according to Pew.

Working Women…What Fragrance Are You Wearing?


There are so many no-no rules when it comes to going on a job interview.  There is the obvious like refraining from gum chewing or walking in with open toe shoes and an unpolished pedicure (a personal pet peeve of mine). Then there is the not so obvious, what you are wearing.  I’m not talking about your dress or suit, I’m talking about your fragrance.

We’ve had perfectly qualified candidates walk out of an interview and leave a plume of their scent behind–for hours, giving some of us headaches and making us dizzy. YOU want to make the lasting impression on your interviewee, not your perfume, yet you want to walk in smelling nice.

I’m loving Pour le Monde’s new 100% natural eau de parfums.  Since they don’t have one drop of synthetic chemical extenders like most commercial fragrances, they gently evolve on your skin and stay with you, not around you and everyone else. Better yet, each fragrance benefits a specific charity with 10% of each bottle sold going back to the charity giving true meaning to smelling good and doing good! I’d love to hear from you.  Send us your stories of when you’ve been trapped by that aweful smell of perfume you just couldn’t excape.


Angelina Jolie Joins the Extraordinary


I would like to give a shout out to Angelina Jolie.  In the news today it was revealed that she had a double mastectomy back in February.  Who knew?  It is really none of our business, but she is always in the spotlight so I guess you just think she is off traveling somewhere if she disappears for a while.  Like all of us,  she had to put herself and family first and foremost and take care of personal issues.  Angelina is not just an American actress or director.  In 2009, and again in 2011, she was voted Hollywood’s highest-paid actress as well as the world’s “most beautiful” woman.  She donates her time and money to many humanitarian causes and is a former Goodwill Ambassador for The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  She began her career alongside her father in a movie called Lookin’ to Get Out back in 1992. Although her film career began nearly 10 years after with a low budget film called Cyborg, her first leading role in a major film was in a cyber-thriller called Hackers.  I thought I was up on my movie trivia, how did I possibly miss this one?   I found a great article about her and besides I am tired of reading about bombers, kidnappers, and murderers….so enjoy!!! In closing, Angelina is a strong woman who wears many hats and can accomplish more than most women can on any given day.  She works, raises a family (with plenty of help), and has time to do the impossible.


Making Motherhood “WORK”

Category : CAREER, CULTURE, MOMSTAR, Erin Carlyle

Fashion billionaire Tory Burch is used to seeing her name all over the place: on your ballet flats, your skirt, your fashion magazines. Christening her company after herself  basically means that if something happens at a California store while she’s in New York, her moniker still hits the headlines. But when it comes to her children, the rules are different, she says.

“My children are off limits,” Burch told the collection of high-powered women at the inaugural Forbes Women’s Summit May 9th in New York. “My personal life is off-limits.”


Perhaps that’s because raising nice, normal kids can be quite the challenge for billionaires. So too can be keeping your relationship with your children intact. What with the nannies, the media attention, and the abundance of wealth itself, billionaire spawn can face more than the average temptations by the time they reach 18.


There are also, unfortunately, plenty of examples of older billionaire moms who have fought with their children, including the richest mom in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, and Asia-Pacific’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart. Bettencourt, who inherited a huge stake in L’Oreal from her father, had her fortune placed under the guardianship of her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers in 2011 following a very public three-year legal battle.  


In the fall of 2011, mining heiress Rinehart’s offspring began legal action against her over her alleged delay to 2068 of the vesting date of their trust. She fired back, describing their privileged lives and reportedly suggesting they were slackers in need of real employment.


Still it is a rarefied group. There are approximately 3,300 people in the world who have a father who is a billionaire but just 305 whose mom ranks among the world’s super rich. Burch is one of just 108 billionaire moms, by our count, and one of less than two dozen who made their fortunes on their own and didn’t inherit wealth from their fathers, grandfathers, husbands or moms.


Some of the better known mothers on our list include Spanx billionaire Sara Blakely, who has a young toddler to contend with as well as her $1 billion shapewear brand (she owns 100%, making her the youngest self-made woman on the Forbes rich list).


Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs‘ widow, has three children, the eldest of whom is now a senior at Stanford. Then there’s HP CEO Meg Whitman, who made her fortune as CEO at eBay. Whitman’s two boys attended Princeton just like she did, and she has described her children not as a detriment to her career, but the source of her inspiration, particularly during her failed bid for governor of California.  Still, the eldest has appeared in some unflattering press reports, including a charge of battery that was ultimately dismissed.


Oprah, perhaps the most famous self-made female billionaire, doesn’t have children of her own, but she did help raise Wendy, the daughter of her longtime partner Stedman Graham, and she is  de facto mother to the girls at her Leadership Academy in South Africa. They call her Mom-Oprah, according to a recent Forbes cover story on the media billionaire. The first seven grads to attend college in the U.S. stay at Oprah’s   California mansion on their spring breaks, and contact her when they feel homesick.


Then there’s Inditex co-founder Rosalia Mera, whose son Marcos has inspired her activism. Mera and ex-husband Amancio Ortega founded the blockbuster Zara retail chain together, sewing dressing gowns and lingerie from their home. Today Mera’s Paideia Foundation works to integrate people with physical and mental disabilities, like Marcos, into larger society in Spain.


Forbes reporter Clare O’Connor contributed to this report.