Remember that little letter I wrote to my husband explaining why I wasn’t yet ready to change my name to his? Well, according to a recent study I may be on to something here. Apparently new research has shown that it could save me a half a million dollars over my lifetime if I hold on to my maiden name. Shocking, right? Here’s the snippet word for word:
Researchers [at Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research] have suggested that women who change their name at marriage make nearly $400,000 less during their lifetimes than women who do not. They were judged by others as older, less educated and unmotivated compared to those who kept their own names — even if they were the same age and background, according to a 2010 study in in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
Those who took a husband’s name were viewed as “more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional, less competent, and less ambitious in comparison with a woman who kept her own name.”
Women who kept their maiden names were seen as “less caring, more independent, more ambitious, more intelligent, and more competent.”
Let me just go ahead and say that I think this is ridiculous. Not because I don’t believe these stereotypes exist in the workplace (we all know they do!) but because I don’t see how your boss would know that you’ve not taken your husband’s name unless you make a point of mentioning it. And, let’s be honest here, how often is that going to come up at the water cooler? I’m calling foul on this one. But the idea that something as simple as taking a stand on the whole married name change thing could save you that much cash over the year is certainly a fascinating one.
Thoughts girls and guys? I don’t think the topic gets any hotter than this!