Men are more bothered by women being in charge of them at work than they are if their partners earn more than they do, according to a survey.
It shows personal relationships are changing faster than professional ones, relationship expert Lyn Fletcher said.
“It is still a little quaint and old-fashioned view that men should earn more, be the primary breadwinner and be the boss,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Fletcher, director of operations for Relationships Australia NSW, as saying.
In the survey, almost three-quarters of women who earned more than their partners said the men didn’t mind.
More than half of the women who had been in charge of men at work said it had bothered their male underlings - at least some of them - some of the time.
Fletcher said couples were learning to live with the contradiction that, in the business world, competitiveness was encouraged and even essential, but such behaviour at home would doom the relationship.
“I don’t think it worries women any longer that they may earn more than their partner because women come into a relationship to share, as a partnership.
“They understand that just because they earn more than their partner, it doesn’t necessarily give them more power or control,” she said.
Hira Saqib, 30, of Bankstown, has seen it from both sides. As a financial analyst, she led a team of three men and earned more than double the salary of her banker husband Hussein, 28.
He didn’t mind, but the team of three men did.
“Sometimes they couldn’t take orders from a woman the way they used to take them from a man,” she said.
“They had got into the habit of not being punctual and taking long lunches.
“I had a family and I made it clear that they were to be at work by 8.30 am and that I had to leave by 5 pm,” she added.
Saqib said the men all eventually understood.
“One of their wives came to me and said that he had changed. He used to come home late but now he was a good family man,” she said.
Fletcher said that female bosses had a hard time in the workplace because of stereotypes that to achieve, they had to be more hard-nosed and bossy than men.
She blamed the Hollywood stereotype where it was the hunky male who always came to the rescue, but in the real world things are changing.