How Working Moms Feel About Their Careers
The Pew Research Center published some fascinating numbers about women in business and working moms. In “10 Findings about Women in the Workplace,” the survey results show that attitudes are changing about women’s careers and what it takes to find career satisfaction.
The percentage of women between the ages of 25 and 32 with a college degree is higher than ever, and more women than men have degrees in that age group. Also, the earnings gap between women and men has narrowed significantly since 1980.
As far as working moms are concerned, 51 percent of women with children under 18 said that being a working mom made it more difficult to advance in their career. Only 16 percent of working fathers shared the same concern. The poll results also show that women are more likely than men to experience “family-related career interruptions” such as taking time off, quitting a job, or turning down a promotion.
However, it’s interesting that, of those respondents who took time off to care for a child or other family member, “about nine-in-ten mothers and fathers say they are glad they did it.”
That finding correlates to another statistic based on government data on how parents use their time. As reported by Wendy Wang of the Pew Research Center, parents rate 12 percent of their childcare activities as “very exhausting,” more than any other activity, including their jobs. And yet, those same parents report feeling very happy when taking care of children. “Parents find much more meaning in the time they spend with their children than in the time they spend at work,” she writes.
It may seem ironic that people find so much happiness and meaning in work that exhausts them. But when you’re truly engaged in what you’re doing, it doesn’t bother you so much to feel tired. Plus, it goes to show that your success can be measured many different ways. Don’t limit your goals and dreams. Both in and out of the office, find fulfillment by doing what’s most significant to you.
Written by Michael Mussman
Michael is Editor of Forward Thinking, the Ashford University blog.