According to the results of a survey conducted by Lifetime Television, young women today are “highly ambitious” and expect to succeed in the workplace while balancing family life. The Lifetime Women’s Pulse Poll surveyed “Gen Y” women (between the ages of 18 and 29) about their life goals for their careers and families. According to the poll, 85 percent plan on continuing in the workforce after having children, and 78 percent said they would choose to work, regardless of their financial situation. High career ambitions are also common among Gen Y women; 69 percent said they were willing to sacrifice to some extent in order to reach the top of their fields.
Gen Y women, however, do not want to completely sacrifice their personal goals for their careers. Sixty-three percent of the women surveyed said that goals like getting married and having children are more important than their professional goals.
Lifetime Television cited workplace flexibility and control as being highly important to today’s young women in order to achieve an appropriate balance. Meredith Wagner, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at Lifetime Networks, said, “There appears to be a shift in this generation of women in that they want to be ringmasters vs. jugglers ‘ planning to work very hard but also planning to have more control in how and when they will balance career and family. This will have important ramifications for employers as they seek to put into place policies to recruit and retain the next generation.”
Lifetime Television’s report corroborates with a 26-year-long study done by the Center for Worklife Law, which found that women do not “opt-out,” but are rather “pushed-out” by workplaces that do not offer flexibility for employees with families or by employers that discriminate against women.