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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

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She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

#MillenialWomen - Have You Really Given Up On Success?

Or are you avoiding leadership paths because continued inequities and structural workplace barriers make it look like a bad bet?

Here's the data supporting the finding that you don't want to shoot for the top from a recent study reported here.

  • Only 15 percent of 1,000 millennial women surveyed said they would want to be the top leader of a large or prominent organization.
  • 49 percent say the sacrifices women leaders have to make aren’t worth it, and nine in 10 agree that women leaders have to make more sacrifices than their male counterparts.
  • 76 percent of the women surveyed are concerned about their ability to achieve a balance between personal and professional goals.
  • Only 46 percent are willing to sacrifice aspects of their personal life to achieve professional goals.
  • 59 percent of millennial moms agree that the sacrifices women leaders make aren’t worth it, while 40 percent of those without children share that view.
  • Although the survey found that millennial women highly value mentorship, only 60 percent of them have mentors. Women who have a mentor are much more likely to believe they are on track to achieve their professional goal than women who don’t have a mentor (82 percent vs. 60 percent).
  • Millennial moms are six times more likely than other millennial women to say that their career is not that important to them (26 percent vs. 4 percent).
  • 74 percent of working millennial moms say that they’ve had to make personal sacrifices to get ahead, and 52 percent say that the sacrifices that women leaders have to make aren’t worth it.
  • 30 percent of working millennial moms indicate that the inability to balance professional goals with being a parent would hold them back from attaining their ultimate professional role.
  • 22 percent of stay-at-home millennial moms say the inability to afford child care or elder care could potentially keep them from attaining the professional role they ultimately desire.

I'm going to take these statistics at face value and ask these questions of my Millennial Women readers.

If you're in the 49 percent who believe the sacrifices women leaders have to make aren’t worth it, would you change your opinion if you believed you wouldn't have to work harder at home or at work than do your male counterparts? 

If you're in the 76 percent who are concerned about your ability to achieve a balance between personal and professional goals, do you believe your opinion would change if a genie popped out of a lamp and changed only one thing about yourself, your family, your present occupation and your work and home responsibilities - the genie makes you male.

If you are in the 46 percent who are willing to sacrifice aspects of their personal life to achieve your professional goals, what are you not willing to sacrifice. Please be very specific, like, "having at least 5 hours a day with my children until they're at least ___ years old."

If you're among the 59 percent of millennial moms who believe the sacrifices women leaders make aren’t worth it or the 40 percent of those without children share that view, precisely what is it about the climb to or the occupation of a top leadership position that is "not worth it." And why not?

If you're aong the 40% of women who value mentorship but don't have a mentor, what is it that is standing in your way.

If you're one of the millennial moms who are six times more likely than other millennial women to say that your career is not that important to them (26 percent vs. 4 percent) what situation might you find yourself in that would make you change your mind or simply your priorities?

If you're among the 74 percent of working millennial moms who have had to make personal sacrifices to get ahead, please say precisely what those sacrifices are and whether you believe men are also making those sacrifices and if not, why not? s

If you're among the 30 percent of working millennial moms who believe that your inability to balance professional goals with being a parent would hold you back from attaining your ultimate professional role, do you believe that you'd pursue that goal with greater dedication if you believed you could have "balance."

What does "balance" mean to you - specifically.

If you are among the 22 percent of stay-at-home millennial moms who say the inability to afford child care or elder care could potentially keep you from attaining the professional role you ultimately desire, do you also believe that if that care was affordable and readily available that you'd more likely attain the professional role you ultimately desire?

If I told you that the greatest predicator that a woman will end her life in poverty is the birth of her first child, would that data point change any of your opinions or priorities in regard to advancement in your occupation?

Comments (1)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Cassandra - July 19, 2013 11:23 AM

Millennial's, as a generation, value work-life balance more than previous generations. It may indeed be skewed towards women, but as a whole the generation doesn't want to sacrifice current life enjoyment/growth for a cushy retirement and a "lack of fun". We saw our parents and mothers largely absent, working long hours, in jobs they professed to hating. Then when they retired they lived much more relaxed lives, or took on second careers that met their personal visions.
We may be more pessimistic about reaching the upper echelons of corporate world, but we are more optimistic that we can reach a healthy work-life balance, and our relationships also show more balanced roles.
Perhaps the survey questions are skewed, if someone asked what I want in my life, yes I want to achieve a high performance standard, reaching the top of my profession AND live a full life with my family. I just don't see great examples of how to achieve that, and hence cannot wholly say that I want the examples of corporate achievement.
We are negotiating a new way of living, that won't look like our grandmama's or our even our mama's way. As a generation we were raised by people making those corporate sacrifices, but we also had a strong connection to our grandparents, whose life looked much different. I know I am trying to achieve a balance between the two. Who knows if I will be successful but at least I am going to try.

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