Men find successful women attractive. The mere thought of getting such women out on a date, regularly hanging out with her, or even getting intimate thrills most men.
That’s until a long-term commitment is on the cards. Suddenly, men develop cold feet to settling down with a more successful and ambitious woman. Puzzling.
“Dating and bedding a powerful woman is one thing, but marriage is another issue,” admits Elijah Murimi, an executive chef in Nairobi. “I’ll bolt away because I can’t stand being undermined in my role as the head of the house,” Murimi adds.
“Take my career for example. I cook for a living. Chances are that a powerful woman will turn me into the house chef simply because I live my working days in the kitchen. I don’t think such a woman can see me in the same light she sees her topearning male colleagues,” he shares.
Murimi says he is talking from experience. Two years ago, he dated a woman who worked as a senior manager at an NSE-listed insurance firm. “She was curvaceous, polite, and nice to be with. She liked that I could cook too. But I felt undervalued whenever we went out. I could not get past the fact that she earned six figures, especially when she offered to pay the bills. I also felt like a Ben10 whenever I drove her V8,” he says. Although his partner would be comfortable taking lunch at the average restaurant, Murimi says that he still felt that she did not belong there. In the end, he broke up with her. “It was not that she cheated on me or was disrespectful. I only felt that my position as the man in the relationship was compromised. I could never keep up,” he says.
But not all relationships in which women have the upper career and financial hand are ridden with trouble.
Take the relationship between Jean-Pierre Meyers and Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers.
Ms. Bettencourt-Meyers is currently the richest woman in the world with a net worth of USD. 56.7 billion, while Mr.
Meyers is the managing director of the Tethys SAS, a community-based business insights company. Their marriage has lasted for decades.
Some men are intimidated by women with higher academic credentials.
Globally, it is estimated that every year, more women than men are becoming college-educated, with the median sex ratio being higher for women in colleges and universities. A 2019 research study by Belgium’s Ghent University on women looking for love on the dating app, Tinder, found out that women now prefer highly educated men, even though this pool of men is small. “Women do not want a man with lower education which makes it impossible to reason issues out,” says Oliver Kibet, a psychologist consultant based in Nakuru.This preference is waning.
A review of research in the 2000s on demographic trends in the US by
John Hopkins Department of Sociology found out that women with at least a bachelor’s degree are more likely to get married and stay married than less educated women.
The rising profile of the Kenyan professional woman is unstoppable.
Some job areas have a 50:50 employee ratio while some careers have more women than men.
In August this year, Safaricom revealed that it had become the first listed company in Kenya to achieve 50 per cent share of female employees on its payroll.
Figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Economic Survey 2017 show that there are now more women teachers than men in Kenya.
Quick Stats: The gender pay gap in romantic relationships is narrowing down globally. For example, in 1970, only 7 per cent of married working women in the US earned more than their husbands. By 2014, this number had increased to 24 per cent.
In Kenya, a 2018 study by Brighter Monday revealed that men only occupy a slightly greater percentage of the higher salary brackets, with 55 per cent of men earning Sh251, 000 and above and 45 per cent of women earning the same amount and above.
By Simon Mburu Sat Mag