What does ‘it all’ mean?
The idea of “having it all” varies from person to person, of course. However, a new study on women in the workplace by LinkedIn and Citi found that “only 17 percent of women [surveyed] stated that reaching the height of success in their field was a factor in their assessment of ‘having it all.’ For the majority, success was defined by a job that they enjoy.”
For many of the women surveyed, marriage and children weren’t tied up in the definition of “all”: 36 percent of respondents weren’t concerned about marriage, and 27 percent didn’t cite children.
“Millennial women are putting off having children until they are nearly 30,” explains Amy Lynch, a consultant who works with BridgeWorks, an organization that helps businesses connect with different generations of employees and customers. “They seek work-life integration. Millennials don’t see hard divides between work time and family time.”
Ultimately, no matter what “having it all” means, most of us are counting on it at some point: Only 4 percent of women who participated in the survey felt that having it all was unattainable. Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, agrees to some extent. “What I’ve found,” says Hartz, “is while I think you can have it all, you can’t have it all at the same time.”
Although the survey focused on women, assuming that the definition of success varies between genders is dangerous.
“It should mean the same thing as ‘having it all’ for a professional man,” says Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO of HR consulting firm Great Place to Work. “Being a woman should not make one stitch of difference in terms of the opportunities presented to me in the workplace.”