Women feel successful at balancing roles & responsibilities.

Meredith Corporation and NBC Universal announced the third in a series of findings from the Meredith/NBC Universal “What do Women Want?” survey.

“What do women want? Everything!” said Debbie Reichig, senior vice president, Market Development, NBC Universal. “The trick for marketers (and for men) is to figure out what they want and when they want it.”

The below findings from the nationwide survey conducted among more than 3,000 women reveal key insights on the female psyche across topics including family life, career and life satisfaction:

– The majority of women are satisfied with their life and their ability to balance multiple roles and responsibilities

– Children and education are the top priorities for women, followed by marriage and career

Gen Y women, who are just starting out, are more likely than older generations to place high importance on education, marriage and career

– Four in ten (43%) women would like to change something about the relationships in their life, with Gen Y women seeking the most change (54%)

Among women seeking change, while “dating more” is the #1 relationship change among Gen X and Boomer women, “getting married” is more of a priority for Gen Y women

– Women are evenly divided on whether they’d want to change something about their family life, with those who seek change desiring either to “have children” or “have more children”; Gen Y women are most interested in changing their family status (62%)

More than half of women say they would prefer that their first-born was a boy (55% vs. 45% who would prefer their first-born was a daughter)

Many women would like to know the gender of their child before he/she is born; however, relatively few would actually like to choose their gender or genetic make-up

– Women are split when it comes to who is a better role model – working moms or stay-at-home moms; however, more women feel that the working mom is more fulfilled with her life than the stay-at-home mom

The majority of women agree that working moms are more stressed while stay-at-home moms spend more quality time with their children

One-third (34%) of working moms with children under 18 say they would be happier if they could be stay-at-home moms versus working moms (higher among Gen X working moms)

– The majority of women in committed relationships are satisfied with their physical attraction and emotional connection with their partner; half are satisfied with their sex life

Three in ten women in committed relationships say they would chose a good glass of wine over sex with their husband for stress relief

– When it comes to being successful in business, women think they have to be better communicators, smarter, and more compassionate than their male counterparts

Two-thirds (66%) of working women feel that they are getting paid less than they deserve and some feel its because of their gender

– The majority of working women want to change some aspect of their jobs, with acquiring new skills to qualify for a higher paying job as the #1 desire

Retirement is of particular interest to Boomer women while Gen Y women are interested in flexible hours and Gen X women are thinking about career change

DETAILED FINDINGS

– The majority of women like who they are and are satisfied with family relationships

Seven in ten women say they are satisfied with their relationship with their parents

Two-thirds of women are satisfied with their identity and development as an individual

Another two-thirds of women are satisfied with the amount of time they have to spend with their children/family

– Boomer women are more satisfied than younger generations with their ability to nurture friendships (60% vs. 41% Gen Y and 43% Gen X women) and be involved as citizens and/or members of the community (53% vs. 33% Gen Y and 38% Gen X women)

– 94% of all women feel successful at balancing roles and responsibilities

37% of Baby Boomer women feel very successful while only 30% of Gen X women and 27% of Gen Y women feel very successful

– Two-thirds of working moms (66%) say they are more fulfilled with their lives than stay-at-home moms; conversely, two-thirds (64%) of stay-at-home moms say they are more fulfilled with their life lives than working moms

Women’s Priorities in Life

– Two-thirds (67%) of women say “having children” and “staying home with children when they are young” are important lifestyle choices to them; 4 in 10 women (41%) say “staying home with children when they are in their teens” is important to them

Not surprisingly, stay-at-home moms are more likely than working moms to place higher importance on being home with children both when they are young (92% vs. 69%) and when they are in their teens (67% vs. 41%)

-One third of working mothers say “I would be happier if I could be a stay-at-home mom versus a working mom” (42% among Gen X moms)

The majority of women say that working moms are more stressed than stay-at-home moms (81% vs. 19%)

Conversely, stay-at-home moms are perceived as spending more quality time with their children than working moms do (85% vs. 15%)

-Women, in general, are equally split on which mom is the better role model – the working mom (51%) or the stay-at-home mom (49%); not surprisingly, mothers in these respective roles are more likely to think they are the better role model

Two-thirds (68%) of working moms feel they are a better role model for their children than they would be as stay-at-home moms

Three-quarters (73%) of stay-at-home moms feel they are a better role model for their children than they would be as working moms

-Two-thirds (67%) of women say “having a higher education” is important to them while slightly more than half place high priority on “getting married” (56%) and “having a career” (54%)

Gen Y women are especially likely to place a higher priority on marriage (73%) and career (67%)

2 in 10 women (18%) say “staying married, even unhappily, for the sake of the kids” is an important to them

Women place most importance on children, despite the stress of raising them

– Overall, half (50%) of all women would not want to change anything about their family life, and the remaining half would

Gen Y women are more likely than Gen X and Boomer women to seek a change in their family life (62% vs. 49% and 42% respectively)

– Having more children is the #1 desire for women who seek a change in their family life, regardless of generation

– Four in ten (42%) women say that they would choose to find out the gender of their child when pregnant

Younger mothers (18-34) are more likely than older mothers to want to find out the gender of the baby before birth (70% vs. 40%)

– Younger mothers (18-34 years of age) are somewhat more likely than older mothers (35+) to say they would choose to breast-feed their babies for six months or more (63% vs. 53%)

– Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) of mothers with children under 18 say their children contribute a great deal of stress to their life

– The majority of women think that couples who are childless by choice are happier or as happy as couples with children; however, 2 in 10 (19%) think these couples are not as happy as couples who have children

Women, Marriage & Relationships

– Eight in ten married/partnered women say their spouse/partner/significant other contributes to their stress; one-quarter say they contribute a great deal of stress

One-quarter (23%) of women who are no longer married say their former spouse causes them a great deal of stress; 43% say their ex contributes to at least some of their stress

– Most women (57%) would not want to change anything about the relationships in their life

– Top 3 relationship changes for each generation (among women who want change):

Gen Y: Get married (46%)

Gen X: Date more (38%)

Baby Boomers: Date more (32%)

– Top 3 relationship changes by marital status (among women who want change):

Singles: Date more (61%)

No longer married: Date more (44%)

Married/Partnered: Get married later in life (39%)

– Two in ten married/partnered women seeking change in their relationship say they would have married someone other than their current spouse

Conversely, another (14%) of women who are married/partnered wish they never got married

– The majority of women in committed relationships are satisfied with their physical attraction to (64%) and emotional connection (61%) with their mate

– About half of women in committed relationships are satisfied with the division of labor (49%), their opportunities to have fun together (50%), their sex life (51%), the amount of quality time spent together (52%), shared interests/hobbies (53%) and communication with one another (54%)

Gen Y women in relationships are more likely than Gen X women to be satisfied with the opportunities to have fun with their partners/spouses (58% vs.43%)

Women & Careers

– Only 21% of working women agreed with the following statement: “I love my job and wouldn’t change anything about my current employment situation”

Among those wanting change in their current employment situation, nearly half (44%) of all women would want to acquire new skills to qualify for a higher paying job, 31% of women would want to do something more personally rewarding, 26% would want to retire and 25% would want to start their own business

4 in 10 (38%) Boomer women seeking change in their job would prefer to completely retire while one-third (35%) of Gen X working women seeking job change would like to change/start a new career all together

Gen Y women who seek change are more likely than most women to want flexible hours (43% vs. 30% total women)

– The majority (66%) of working women feel they are paid less than they deserve; one-third (33%) of working women across generations feel that they are getting paid just what they deserve

Among women who feel that they are getting paid less that they deserve, (26%) feel that it is because of their gender

– Many women think they have to be better communicators, smarter and more compassionate than men in order to be successful in business

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