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One in three women earn more than partners

Almost a third of women in the workplace are earning more than their partners, putting them increasingly in the role of breadwinner, a new study has revealed today.

According to the Women And Work Survey 2010 commissioned by Grazia magazine, almost half of the 2,000 females questioned were either out-earning their partners (30%) or earning as much (19%),. Also, one in 10 already had a house-husband.

One possible explanation for the dramatic turnaround in women's financial success given by the poll was that the recession hit male employment, shifting the burden of responsibility in relationships.

The survey found that the vast majority of working women did not wish to leave the world of work, with only 11% wanting to "stop work completely".

Respondents were "realistic" about the downsides of full-time motherhood, with almost half of all full-time mothers admitting they hated "not earning their own money", while 32% missed work itself.

More than two thirds (69%) of mothers said they still "preferred to keep their hand in at work", with mothers of under-threes stating they "preferred to work, albeit preferably part-time" (60%), rather than be a "full-time mum" (40%).

Women with full-time jobs said their employment made them feel "worthwhile" (50%) and "confident" (51%).

Despite the emergence of the so-called "Mrs Big", the survey identified she was now part of a "cross-over couple", where partners shared the load and were not bound by traditional ideas.

Four out of 10 women thought that in the future, the career of whomever was the highest earner would take precedence, regardless of sex (42%), and a further 39% felt mothers and fathers would share the work and childcare load equally.