Sound familiar? Results of a global survey (conducted by the Boston Consulting Group) suggest that women are more overworked, overextended, overstressed and underserved than ever. In fact, time demands are the number one challenge that women face in their lives.
Key findings include:
- Women are responsible for a large percentage of global income, owning 40% of all U.S. business and controlling over $12 trillion dollars in consumer spending (globally).
- In the U.S., almost 71% of women in the workforce are mothers, and over half have children under the age of one. Yet, they do most of the work at home as well (88% – grocery shopping; 85% – meal preparation; 84% laundry and cleaning; and 77%, household administration).
- 48% of women say that managing household finances is a major source of stress in their lives, while 81% are concerned about not having enough money for retirement.
- 47% say that time demands represent the “big stress in their lives,” with 45% expressing that they don’t have enough time for themselves.
One of the most disturbing finding deals with women’s expectations of themselves. In fact 44% say that they rarely or never feel powerful. Hmmm, why is this? Why is it that we feel powerless when we control such a significant portion of the global economy and virtually run our world, both inside and outside the home? And where is the true source of a woman’s power?
Survey results suggest that the source of happiness in women’s lives mostly relates to love, health, honesty and emotional well-being. From this, one might surmise that the source of women’s power lies within their connections, candor and honesty, as well as the opportunity to pursue these things freely. Indeed, when asked what they wanted most, respondents said:
- More love and connections, both intimate and with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors.
- Freedom to pursue the path which will allow them to become fulfilled, happy and satisfied.
- More balance in their lives.
- Enough money to remove financial pressure.
We live in a world where time is a commodity and where the individual is always being pulled in a zillion directions. Self-image, especially as we age, can be tough, especially when societal messages abound that we are no longer “as beautiful as…” In fact, in this survey, at least a quarter of women said that they rarely or never felt beautiful.
What gives? We are powerful, we are in control and regardless of age or shape, we, as women, have an inner beauty that when realized, reflects outward and resonates endlessly.
Life is stressful and it appears that as women, we are shouldering a burden of extreme proportions. Not only should we be asking what we are doing to create this paradigm but more importantly, what can we do to change it.
What do you think?