BEND, Ore. - More and more women across the country have been trading in the apron for a briefcase, and the number of women in the workforce is increasing.
A new Pew Research poll states that 40 percent of women, single and married, are now the primary bread-winners for their family, and there are many examples of that in Central Oregon.
From boutiques to jewelry stores and advertising companies, women are showing they can bring in the money, too.
Melissa Vandenbroucke, a mother of four, started a wedding and event design studio called Ceylon Blu in Bend in the fall of 2011.
"I just felt like I needed something to put my hand to, to use my talents and gifts," Vandenbroucke said Thursday.
She said she loved working in the business of stay-at-home motherhood while her four kids grew up. After that, she wanted to be more than just a great mom -- she wanted to be an inspiration.
"As they (her children) got older, I thought it would be important for them to see their mom achieve her goals and use her talents in an industry that she enjoys and loves doing, and being successful at that," Vandenbroucke said. "I think that's inspiring and encouraging to them."
Vandenbroucke is not alone -- two-career households are on the rise.
In 2011, 65 percent of married mothers with children also held a steady job, and 23 percent of those women also took home bigger paychecks -- a big change from just 4 percent in 1960.
"It's exciting to help other people and to make a sale, or to see your hard work come to life," said Vandenbroucke.
The change is not only seen among married women. Single moms are now running a quarter of all homes with children, a number that has more than tripled since 1960.
With nearly one-third of women now wanting to work full-time, Vandenbroucke says there's no better time to start than now.
"If you believe in yourself, and believe in the talents and gifts that you have, and the product or the service that you want to give, then I say go for it," said Vandenbroucke.
Another part of the the Pew survey revealed that the total family income is higher when the mother, not the father, is the primary breadwinner.