Career is more important for women than men – but not at the expense of family life

25 Apr

Having a high-paying career or profession has become much more important for women than men, according to findings from the Pew Research Center.

Careers are a high priority for young women today. (pic: istockphoto.com/jacekbieniek

Two-thirds of women aged 18 to 34 who took part in the survey rate career high on their list of priorities, compared with 59% of young men. This has increased since 1997, when 56% of women and 58% of men prioritised their careers. However, the survey clarifies that the surge of interest in a fulfilling career does not come at the expense of a happy home and family life, which ranks “significantly higher” on the list of priorities.

The percentage of working-age women and men who say a successful marriage is in their lives exceeds 80% now, just as it did in 1997. And parenthood is a priority for more than 90% in both years.

However, among women aged 18 to 34, marriage is important for 37% – up nine percentage points from 28% since 1997. Parenting ranks even higher on their list of priorities: 59% of young  women rate parenting as a top priority, up 17 percentage points from 42% in 1997.

The percentage of mothers with children younger than 18 has risen from 47% in 1975 to 71% in 2010, a 24-percentage-point increase. For mothers with children younger than six, the figure is 64%, and for mothers with kids aged six to 17, the figure is 77%.

The report says: “Women in today’s workforce who marry and have children are not necessarily leaving their careers to do so.” Further evidence that women are attempting to have it all…?

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