Women have finally begun to give up the ghost of any lingering Cinderella or Romney fantasies left after the Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? disaster. According to new research released by the Pew Research Center, for the first time, women care more about having high paying jobs for themselves than their male counterparts. The survey also found that they're not willing to make any corresponding sacrifices in other areas of their lives. Guess we still want it all, but even harder than before.
The researched, published today, shows that since 1997, men have been busy caring less about success in a high-earning job, while women have been caring more; back then, 56% of women between 18 and 34 said that having a career was either very important or a priority for them compared to 58% of men in the same age group. Now, 66% of women say it's a priority versus only 59% of men. Older women are all about the C.R.E.A.M. as well. While more young women say Cash Rules Everything (or at least a lot of things) Around Them, 42% of women between the ages of 35 and 64 now say career-related financial success is a high priority to them, compared to just 26% in 1997.
Women are now more into digging for gold on their own than men, more likely to graduate from college or receive advanced degrees than men, and also have more formalwear options than men. Is this translating into equal pay? Equal opportunity?
Of course not. Young women just starting out on their infant careers tend to earn just about as much as young men, but as kids are born and maternity leaves are taken and careers are put on hold for The Children, the gap yawns. Older women near retirement age earn around 75 cents for every dollar a man her age earns. And the pay discrepancy starts when women are in their early 30's.
This swell in desire for career success, though, doesn't come at the expense of any of the other things that women say they value — like being a good parent or having a successful marriage, which were the two most common "very importants" among survey respondents. Ninety-four percent of women say that being a good parent is super duper important, while only 84% of them say that a successful marriage is a priority.
So, we want babies, and we want to mother the shit out of them, but we also want to wife the shit out of our partners, and we want to earn the shit out of some cash at work. Unless American workplaces become more accommodating to mothers and more prone to paying women equally for equal work over the long haul or men become more amenable to pitching in at home, we've got a world of disappointment ahead of us.