- More than half of female respondents (52%) to a Seniorliving.org survey agreed that it's possible for women to balance their career and family responsibilities successfully. However, the survey found that women from single-wage households were somewhat less likely to believe they could balance their career and family duties than those from double-wage households. The caregiving company polled 625 women with experience juggling work and family commitments.
- Overall, 28% of respondents somewhat agreed that they could balance work and family duties, 9% somewhat disagreed and 5% totally disagreed.
- In survey results by generation, about 58% of Baby Boomers, 53% of millennials and 50% of Gen Xers believe they can successfully achieve work-life balance. Seniorliving.org said the survey results suggest that most are optimistic about being parents while pursuing a career, despite their demographic backgrounds.
Some employment experts believe that work-life balance doesn't exist anymore because the line between work and personal time has become blurred. New technology allows employees to work anywhere at any time — while they attend family functions, for example. Personal tasks are also more easily accomplished remotely from the workplace, as with personal shopping done online from workers' office devices.
Given this shift, it's not surprising that most respondents in the Seniorliving.org survey ranked flexible work hours as their top perk. A recent FlexJobs survey found that nearly one-third of respondents, a majority of whom were parents with children age 18 and younger, said inflexible work schedules were forcing them out of the labor force. For those who find it hard to return to work after an extended absence from the labor force, organizations like PwC, BP and Walmart have responded to their dilemma by offering return-to-work programs that help parents get re-acclimated into the workplace.
Since women are often the primary caregivers in their families, some employment experts believe that offering fathers (or any secondary caregivers) the same amount of parental leave afforded to mothers would relieve women of some of the caregiving burden. Extended leave and gender-neutral parental leave could prevent women from feeling that they have to forfeit their careers. In fact, EY said that the number of men taking paid parental leave at the company doubled in two years after it extended its leave program to 16 weeks for fathers, and turnover among its female employees declined.