How Men and Women Shape Their Career Paths… and Define Success

Citi, LinkedIn survey examines career expectations, work-life balance

October 31, 2013 – NEW YORK & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Citi and LinkedIn today released results from their third Today’s Professional Woman Report, a national survey exploring women’s career and financial concerns inspired by the conversations on Connect: Professional Women’s Network — the fast-growing LinkedIn group of more than 190,000 professional women powered by Citi. For the first time, the survey, which looked at a representative sample of 1,023 professionals, also explored men’s perspectives on success and the factors that shape the career paths men pursue.

Results of the study revealed that the average professional woman expects to have eight different jobs over the course of her lifetime, and are more likely than men to make several career transitions as they progress towards their goals. Not only are more women than men employed in careers that differ from what they thought they would do when graduating college (45% vs. 36%), but women are also more likely than men to think that they will work in a totally different industry or at a different company in ten years (30% vs. 19%). Despite their different career paths, a nearly equal number of women and men (47% and 48%, respectively) feel they have achieved their personal goals – and the number of women who consider themselves successful has increased nearly 10 points since March 2013 (47% vs. 37%).

“The survey results illustrate how women are willing to take risks when it comes to their careers – they’re thinking creatively about their paths, their definitions of success, and are prepared to reinvent themselves in order to achieve their goals,” said Linda Descano, CFA®, Head of Content and Social, North America Marketing at Citi, and President and CEO of Women & Co.,Citi’s personal finance resource for women. “Whether they need advice on how to navigate a major career transition, or are seeking support and inspiration from other women who have achieved success, the community that we have built through Connect continues to provide women with the resources they need to power their personal and professional progress.”

On work-life balance and “having it all” – women and men weigh in:

  •  Balance is equally important to both men and women: Finding the right balance between work and family life is the number one career concern for both genders – with slightly more men identifying it as a major concern (50% of men vs. 48% of women).
  •  When it comes to defining success, men place more emphasis on marriage and children: 79% of men equate “having it all” with being in a “strong, loving marriage” vs. only 66% of women who feel the same. And when it comes to kids, 86% of men factor children into their definition of success vs. 73% of women.
  •  Women are more likely to say that marriage is not a necessary part of the equation: 25% of women think that being in a “strong, loving relationship” is all they need to have it all; marriage is not necessary. Only 14% of men agree.
  •   The number of women who say their definition of success is not linked to marriage or relationships has increased since 2012: The number of women who do not factor marriage or relationships into their definition of success has nearly doubled (from 5% to 9%) since the survey was first conducted in July 2012.
  •   Women are more likely to identify several company benefits and perks as key drivers to career satisfaction: Both genders ranked good healthcare benefits as their #1 most important company perk – but women valued several benefits more highly than men:

◦    Professional development resources and training (87% vs. 78%)
◦    Flex schedules/ability to work from home (90% vs. 72%)
◦    Health/fitness related perks (i.e. gym membership) (55% vs. 45%)
◦    Good maternity leave/paternity leave policy (56% vs. 36%)

“Discussions about work/life balance continue to be some of the most popular conversations in Connect, so it’s fascinating that the study shows that men place just as much value on it as women,” said Jacky Carter, LinkedIn Community Manager for Connect: Professional Women’s Network. “What really surprised us in the results of the study is that men don’t see money as the source of having it all — they actually place the highest value on family.”
On professional self-perception, by gender and generation:

  •  How women describe themselves: Overall, women were more likely than men to think of themselves as good listeners, loyal, collaborative, detail-oriented and happy.
  •   How men describe themselves: Overall, men were more likely than women to think of themselves as confident, ambitious and family-oriented.
  •   How generational differences impact self-perception: Millennial men and women were more likely than other generations to describe themselves as ambitious. Additionally:
The survey results illustrate how women are willing to take risks when it comes to their careers – they’re thinking creatively about their paths, their definitions of success, and are prepared to reinvent themselves in order to achieve their goals

◦    Gen X women were more likely to describe themselves as detail-oriented.
◦    Gen X men were most likely to describe themselves as loyal.
◦    Female baby boomers were more likely to describe themselves as empathetic.
◦    Male baby boomers were more likely to describe themselves as creative.

  •  Everyone thinks they are hard-working: The number one most common word professionals use to describe themselves – regardless of age or gender – was hard-working.
  • On top sources of stress and financial concerns:
  •  Who is most stressed about money and why? Results show that women are more stressed over finances than men – and that overall, Gen X is more stressed than any other generation. Women rate several financial issues as bigger concerns than men, including paying off credit card debt (36% vs. 29%); paying off student loans (35% vs. 28%); and getting a raise (30% vs. 23%)
  •  Work induces more stress than home life: Professionals of both genders report having more stress at work than they do at home (25% report high stress levels at work vs. 13% who experience high levels of stress at home); but women, on average, experience more stress in both settings than men.
  •  The majority of professionals work during time off: 58% of men and women work over the weekend at least once or twice a month, and 62% usually work while they’re on vacation.
  •  Most professionals say that pursuing your passion is more important than financial security: More than half (58%) of professionals say “doing what you love” is more important than pursuing a job where you’ll be “making enough money to feel secure.”

For more detailed results on the Today’s Professional Woman Report, visit the Women & Co. blog. To become a member of the Connect: Professional Women’s Network, visit here and join for free.


Survey Methodology:
The 2013 Today’s Professional Woman Report survey was conducted by LinkedIn in August 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 1,023 Professional Women and Male LinkedIn members.

About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

About Connect
Connect: Professional Women’s Network, a LinkedIn group powered by Citi, is an online community of over 190,000 members where women come together for resources, support and discussion related to their careers. To join the community for free,

About LinkedIn
Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With 225 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The company has a diversified business model with revenue coming from Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions products. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.