A colleague alerted me to a new survey published by Citibank entitled “Today’s Professional Woman Report“, the third time that they, in cooperation with LinkedIn, have surveyed professional women to identify trends and traits. And there are some very interesting trends…
What most struck me the most is that according to their results, men are now placing more emphasis on marriage and children than women are in this survey. 79% of men equate “having it all” with being in a strong, loving marriage, versus only 66% of women feeling the same way. That’s a huge difference and, to me, quite a surprise.
When it comes to children, 73% of women include having children in their definition of success, while – ready for this? – 86% of men believe that children are an essential ingredient of “having it all”.
I bet you thought it’d be the opposite, given the constant cultural messages about how parenting is a woman’s job, about how men are slackers, not fathers, and about how most relationships we are shown the woman as the head of the household and the man as essentially another child. These same movies and TV shows justify it by reassuring us that women are more fulfilled by being a mother. Or maybe not.
Last time they gave this survey to over 1000 LinkedIn professionals, male and female, 5% of women defined “success” to not include a personal relationship of any sort. This time around, just under 10% identified success as being independent of a personal relationship in their lives. Which means 1 out of 10 women will feel that they are successful in life regardless of whether they’re even in a relationship, let alone married with children.
I learned of this survey from Dr. Jaime Kulaga, who reinforces the gender stereotypes with her comment that she hasn’t “met a woman in my life who hasn’t taken on an exponential amount of roles – far more than is good for any one person. From wife to professional to cook to chauffeur, women simply do not know how to say no.”
Of course, us men do that too, and at least as much as women do, so I’m not entirely sure why she’s singling out women in her comment. Particularly as a single dad, I wear all the hats, from medical counsel to relationship therapist, storyteller to chauffeur, homework helper to drill sergeant. In fact, that’s a characteristic of adult life, that you can’t just stay in one comfortable role but instead have to assume many different responsibilities, some of which are in direct contradiction to others.
Still, while the research is skewed by the data sample (people who participate in a specific professional development group on LinkedIn) it’s still surprising to see that the percentage of women who consider success on purely professional terms almost doubling, and to see that men are considerably more tied to being in a loving marriage with children than women are.
But that’s my analysis. What’s your take on these numbers and the implications for our cultural evolution?
Good question. I did not read the full survey. It would be interesting to know what both genders mean when they talk about marriage/ childern. Do men in general still think about family in a way of “nice woman at home taking care of the kids and household while I go to work” or is there a real change to “shared responsibilities”- meaning also the man takes turn in taking care of the kids and household? And how do women view the family thing?
I think in the end each one has his or her perfect idea and they all differ a bit. If the survey was made on linkedin it is most probable that the women in this survey do work in a job other than “only” mother and houswife- which would also explain the results.
OR- in a few years it will be common that fathers stay at home and mothers go to work… how about this idea 🙂
Have a nice day.
“Of course, us men do that too”
No, y’don’t. 🙂
Nice attempt to face-save your lazy gender with a single quick sentence describing a completely imaginary situation. Women everywhere, and men too (when they tell the truth, unlike you’re doing right now on this page), know full damned well men don’t do a thing around a house and revert instantly back to baby once womaned up.
Well, women are sick of this. Men are the poorest ROI in the portfolio. No human could withstand running a business and another full grown adult’s life too. Easier to dump the sucker and get a dildo or a cute 1-night cabin boy to take care of what you need from time to time. That’s why most women prefer not to marry, and to live alone. I’m one of them. I used to like you guys. I don’t now.
Fend for yourselves, pick up after yourselves… and tell the truth, GoFatherhood… lol, what a name… it should have an asterisk after it and the clarification “as long as this pertains to sperm donation only”.
Wow, hostile much, Lisa? Sounds like you’ve had a tough time of things with men, and for that I’m sorry. But yeah, there are plenty of us guys doing just fine being equal partners. And me? Well, I run my household, do all the housework, laundry, dishes, cooking, take care of my kids when they’re sick, drive them to and from school events, and host their parties. Sorry that’s not enough for you, but I’ll keep my asterisks for more important discussions.