When the term 'having it all' first broke ground, it's safe to say that didn't include picking up dirty towels.

Yet although more than a third of women are now breadwinners in their families, we are still doing around two thirds of the housework. Yes - it's not just your imagination that you do more.

The study was released by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) this week, based on the findings by the European Social Survey.

The good news is that it indicates we are doing better than ever in the workplace, and that although the gender pay gap still stands at 14.9% between men and women, we are clearly pulling in salaries that can support a family.


However, as The Sunday Times reported, attitudes to domestic chores and that terrible phrase 'work-life balance' is clearly stuck in the dark ages.

In Britain, the paper reported, 70% of all housework is done by women, and women who work more than 30 hours a week still do two-thirds of the housework.

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Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank showed that eight out of 10 married women do more household chores, while just one in 10 married men does an equal amount of cleaning and washing as his wife.

Part of the reason may have to do with how men were raised - if their mothers had specific gender roles, that is, working yet doing most of the housework, then they may be less inclined to offer to help or for it even to occur for them to offer to help.

The study revealed that we have it worse than the Swedish, with only 58% of women doing all the housework, if they work more than 30 hours a week. Alas, if you're a Greek woman - good luck getting your partner to help you out. Nearly 84% of women there do all the housework.


Insurer LV= said female breadwinners on average earn £14,000 more than their husbands or boyfriends, but that only six per cent of men "openly resent" earning less, however, it's not a fact all men are willing to advertise. The Daily Telegraph reported that 10 per cent have a "gentleman's agreement" where the man of the house is allowed to tell friends and family that he is the main breadwinner.

Across the pond, the US mirrors the current situation in Britain - there, 40% of women are breadwinners.

Yet it is a situation that does need addressing, particularly if both partners are working the same amount, or as evidence suggests, the woman works longer hours.

Another factor that has been attributed to the increase of women as breadwinners is that male unemployment is higher than women's - 1.5 million are out of work as opposed to 1.1 million women. However, the rate of male unemployment, reported the BBC is dropping far more rapidly than women - in 2012 it fell 42,000 in one quarter compared with 3,000 for women.

The problem may be a lot closer to home - women who are breadwinners may be concerned that their bigger paycheque may emasculate their menfolk, hence a reluctance to ask them to help out more at home. Yet in this day and age, it is a question of balance. The National Office of Statistics has revealed that stay at home dads have doubled in the past 10 years, which indicates times are a-changing - so perhaps our definition of gender roles need to do so too.

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