Gender Differences in Career Ambitions

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A 2008 study carried out by the Families and Work Institute (USA) has proved that there are no ambition differences
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between young women with children and those without.

Contents

The Study

Entitled, “Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and At Home,” the study surveyed 3,500 workers. The study is the only of its kind to provide 30+ year comparisons (from 1977 to 2008), of life on and off the job. The report is also supplemented by other public data to provide as broad and current a picture as possible.This year’s data is the latest addition to a survey that has been ongoing for 22 years. Because random groups of respondents are asked the same questions each time, it is possible to see how attitudes change.

The Results

The study have noticed significant trends with 'firsts'. According to lead author, Ellen Gallinsky: "There are many firsts in this study—the first time that younger men and women feel the same about job advancement and the first time that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women in their views of appropriate gender roles.”

Key Results

Implications

The changes in attitudes and work/life balance trends may reflect the increased participation of women in the economy, which enhances women's sense of responsibility and authority within the household, and allowed men to take greater role in childcare and household chores. For men, taking care of children, cooking and cleaning has now become "socially desirable" according to the authors. And in a period of difficult economic conditions, women are feeling more empowered that they can contribute financially to household income.

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