Two Generations Into the Early Feminist Movement, 64% of Women Studied Feel Satisfied with Career Accomplishments with Significant Compromises Made Along the Way
Burlingame, CA – February 25, 2014 – SheByShe, a new women’s opinion site dedicated to giving women a voice, today announced the results of its “Wonder Woman: Work-Life Balance” survey, finding that the over 700 women studied mostly feel satisfied with career progress but that it comes at a significant cost. Of the women responding to the survey, mostly Internet-savvy, millennial working women, 64 percent feel satisfied with their careers while 70 percent of the respondents with children feel they’ve made significant compromises to their career and parenting because of all of the demands on their lives. Fifty-four percent of women without children feel the same way. All these demands lead to these women making significant compromises in their health, in their appearance and in their romantic lives.
Even in the face of making difficult sacrifices, nearly all of the women studied, 91 percent, work to financially support their families and because it brings them satisfaction. Now two generations into the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, this survey shows “Wonder Woman” has emerged as the new norm across the U.S. Women everywhere are successfully juggling careers along with a multitude of other life demands.
“This opinion survey mirrors larger societal trends. Today, the majority of mothers are providing for their families while raising their children,” said Marianne Cooper, sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. “American women derive a lot of satisfaction from both their work and their families, but doing both means that women have a lot on their plate. In order to keep life chugging along, women often have to make a series of small, incremental compromises in order to shoulder heavy demands.”
Gratitude for Early Feminist Movement
With the impact of the feminist movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s now realized, SheByShe asked these women if they thought this movement helped women of today. The majority of respondents, 82 percent, feel a strong sense of gratitude for what was accomplished years ago. Fifty percent said the feminist movement helped by allowing more career opportunities; 15 percent said it delivered more equality; 10 percent said more freedom and rights; and other positives cited included giving women more confidence, more power and a voice.
“They paved the way for me to be doing what I'm doing. The field I work in was and still is male dominated but it's getting better,” commented one SheByShe respondent.
Thirty-two percent of the women studied believe the feminist movement of years past has not helped women of today, and the top reasons why include: created balance difficulties; confused gender roles; remaining unfair inequality issues; and the sentiment that women should stay at home with children.
As one SheByShe respondent said, “Yes, [the early feminist movement] helped, BUT they dropped the ball on working mothers. What they were striving for was equal pay and opportunity. That was huge, but at this point we need to start fighting for rights of working mothers. The demands are different.”
"It is a great irony that, despite the technological innovations and progress of our society, work-life balance remains a persistent problem for so many women. One would presume that the increasing numbers of mothers in the workplace would expedite the implementation of legislation and workplace policies to help families manage work-life balance. But that does not seem to be the case. Workplaces and public policy continue to be grounded in an outdated, Leave-it-to-Beaver myth of the American family." said Alexander Watts, Stanford University researcher and doctoral candidate.
Better Than Their Mothers
SheByShe also asked these women if they felt better or worse off than their mothers when she was the same age. Over two-thirds, 69 percent do feel better off than their mothers and for many different reasons. Reasons cited for feeling better off include: better family life and more control of family planning; career achievements; more financial security; more accomplishments, opportunities and life experiences.
As one SheByShe respondent said, “My mother was a housewife in a poor marriage with six children to raise and next to no resources at hand.”
And another commented, “I have a career, no kids nor a husband to focus on. I can afford to make certain sacrifices for my career.”
Women’s Stories Paint a Picture of Wonder Woman Next Door
SheByShe collected hundreds of verbatims from the study. Many can be found at SheByShe.com. The heartfelt comments paint a picture of commitment and sacrifice and tell the stories of Wonder Woman as every woman, living next door and working at every work place.
SheByShe is Providing Women a Voice
The SheByShe Wonder Woman survey questioned Internet-savvy, mostly millennial working women from across America. Married and single women, and those with and without dependent children in the home, responded to the survey.
A colorful, visual slideshow of full survey results can be found here. A complete Wonder Woman report is available by contacting SheByShe at email@example.com.
The survey was conducted in January 2014 and represents U.S. women, ages 25-64, with 726 total respondents.
SheByShe is a women’s opinion site dedicated to sharing what women think about important issues. SheByShe is committed to being objective and transparent. SheByShe is not affiliated with any political party, religion or other group. Surveys are fielded to cover current social, lifestyle, economic, and political issues. Results are posted on SheByShe.com and are shared with key influencers and publicized through major media and information dissemination sources. Participating women feel satisfied that they are speaking up and sharing their point-of-view. For more information or to contact SheByShe please go to www.shebyshe.com.
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