Female contributions, equality and taking responsibility

march 4, 2022


As we see equality provisions seeping into the work place (good) we are also seeing more households being financially controlled by women (also good). More men are opting to take on the role of main care giver to children and increasingly women are storming ahead either with their own projects or promotion. All very very good.

But what happens if they divorce?

Naturally the expectation is that everyone is treated in a gender neutral way- if there is enough to go around, the main earner shares the fruits of their labour, probably equally.

But are we ready to do that yet?  

Experience tells us that female high achievers find sharing the wealth much more difficult than their male counterparts. Often they feel that they not only generated the money but also did everything at home even when their partner was meant to be in charge. They tell stories of how organising nannies/play dates/Dr appointments/school visits fell to them during the marriage so they were twice as burdened than their partners. It’s probably true.

As the law stands, contributions are considered equal. And that’s right - the courts shouldn’t be clogged up with statements and hearings to determine who did more during the marriage. It will heap on animosity and complication just at the point we are trying to simplify cases.

It may not be comfortable but women need to take responsibility. They need to stop making excuses for doing everything themselves (the other parents contact me and not him/I had the details stored in my diary/he’s disorganised/it’s faster to do it myself). Learning to delegate in the home is just as important as delegating in the workspace. CEOs and partners burn out and are inefficient if they don’t delegate their work, so too will mothers and women who refuse to delegate at home.  

And ultimately if they divorce, they’re going to need to accept that everything is likely to be shared without a nod towards their work in the marriage except in exceptional cases.