Annabel Crabb’s latest book is a game changer. For all the head scratching and banter about why Australia’s gender imbalance in the workplace, Crabb takes a refreshing look at the behind-the-scenes pressures that make the Australian work/life balance what it is today. And no, it is not an opportunity for man-bashing (although hopefully no one would accuse Annabel Crabb of taking such a singular view) – it is a genuine look at the role of domestic support and how this contributes to career success. If women, by large, are assuming the domestic supporting role, then it is not surprising that men who are literally freed up to focus on their careers are leading the chase. Crabb insightfully explores the challenges faced by men wishing to be more flexible in their work so that they can be more hands-on with their families and argues that until this is more acceptable culturally, Australia will continue to struggle with this impasse.
Crabb delves deep into the statistical patterns about how we, Australians, live and work. There are some very interesting insights – my favourite being the research study that found that women actually increased their domestic input once their financial contribution to the household reached a certain point. Crabb explores an argument that women seek to remedy a perceived threat to gender roles by actually doing more housework and childcare as they increase their hours of work/financial success.
This book greatly resonated with me, and the pressures I see within my family and those around me. It was the subject of several weekend barbeques with men and women alike.