List Of Careers In Social Work

WOMEN ON THE RISE SURVEY

The vast majority of respondents were college-educated (99 percent), married (88 percent), between the ages of thirty-five and fifty-four (68 percent), with children under the age of eighteen at home (69 percent). They were right in the center of the busy child-rearing years and fully experienced with the work-life integration challenges we read about and many of us live with every day. Given that 61 percent had graduate degrees, it can safely be said the respondents to our Women on the Rise survey were the very women who we would have expected to see lean in to their careers. They didn’t. At least not continuously.

While 28 percent of respondents told us they never paused, 72 percent reported they downshifted their careers by either working part-time (20 percent of total respondents) or leaving the workforce altogether (52 percent of total respondents) for a period of time. Forty-one percent of respondents left the paid workforce completely and have since relaunched their careers, while 11 percent are still pausing. Of those currently out of the paid workforce, 83 percent expect to return in some capacity.

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The headline news? Of those women who had left the paid workforce and then later re-entered, the vast majority reported they had no regrets. In fact, 78 percent reported they had no regrets AT ALL. Remarkably, 79 percent agreed their career pause enabled them to gain better work-life balance, with 31 percent reporting their lives were very balanced and a further 50 percent reporting feeling moderately balanced as a result of their pause, even though they were now back in the paid workforce. As one respondent said, “I discovered I could have it all, just not all at once.”

The headline news? Of those women who had left the paid workforce and then later reentered, the vast majority reported they had no regrets.

One of the most exciting and surprising results from the Women on the Rise survey was that so many women who had paused still managed to move into senior leadership positions. While 35 percent of the women who had never paused their career reported being senior managers or above, 30 percent of women who had paused and relaunched also reported being senior managers or above. In other words, not only did pausing not kill their careers, they still became the leaders society expected them to be.

Sharon Meers is a perfect example. She is the co-author of Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All. Sharon was a highly successful investment banker. She joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 and rose to be a managing director. She finally left in 2005 in part to spend more time with her children but also because she was eager to try something new. She spent the next five years researching and writing her book. After it was published, she pivoted her career to become the head of Strategic Partnerships at eBay and a board member of Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org. Sharon left one big job and downshifted while her children were young, keeping her skills sharp, her contacts alive, and resume current by writing a book. Then, she launched a new and exciting professional adventure. She leaned in to be the leader she is today by working, pausing, and thriving.

See the appendix for a deep dive into the results of the Women on the Rise survey.

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