Citi and LinkedIn today released results from their first Today’s Professional Woman Report, a national survey exploring what women see as their biggest career challenges, their most pressing financial concerns, and how they define success. Inspired by insights from members of the Connect: Professional Women’s Network , the fast-growing LinkedIn community of more than 60,000 professional women powered by Citi, the survey content also explored the notion of “having it all” – and why, according to the survey results, 96 percent of today’s professional women think it is something that is attainable.

On “having it all”:
  • Marriage and children are often not part of their definition of success. 36 percent of survey respondents felt that marriage wasn’t a factor in how they define “having it all”; and for 27 percent, neither was children.
  • A strong relationship and financial security are most important. While marriage might not be a part of all professional women’s definitions of success, being in a loving relationship (married or unmarried) and having enough money to do and buy what they want were the top two factors among survey respondents in how they define “having it all.” Raising happy and healthy kids came in third (at 73 percent) and having a job “that I enjoy where my work is valued” came in fourth (at 64 percent).
  • All in all, women feel that success, as they’ve defined it, is attainable. Only 4 percent of the survey respondents didn’t think that one day they would “have it all.”
  • The importance of marriage decreases with age. Respondents under 35 identify marriage as a greater factor in their depiction of “having it all” than those over 35. Seventy-one percent of respondents under 35 equated “having it all” with “being in a strong, loving marriage” while only 60 percent of those over 35 felt the same.

On career:
  • Career success isn’t limited to the C-Suite. Only 17 percent of women 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, where their work is valued. For another 15 percent, success meant being their own boss.
  • Women’s definition of career success changes over time. Respondents under 35 were more than twice as likely (26 percent vs. 11 percent) than those over 35 to equate “having it all” with reaching the height of success in their field. Respondents over 35, on the other hand, were more than twice as likely as their younger counterparts to equate it with “being your own boss” (19 percent vs. 8 percent).
  • Professional women’s top three career concerns: Work-life balance; career advancement opportunities; and finding the time to network.

On money:
  • According to the results of the survey, professional women are the primary financial decision makers in 53 percent of households surveyed, and share responsibility in another 45 percent of households .
  • Paying off student loans tops professional women’s list of financial concerns, with 42 percent of those surveyed reporting that they worry about their student loans on a daily basis. Retirement savings, credit card debt, and paying for their children’s needs and education rounded out the top 5 list of financial worries.
  • Talking about money is still taboo, particularly for Gen Y women – with over one-third of professional women ages 18-34 polled saying they feel “it’s not polite to talk about money anywhere.”

“These results reinforce how women's definitions of success have evolved beyond a one-size-fits-all ideal,” said Linda Descano, CFA®, Managing Director and Head of Digital Partnerships, Content and Social at Citi, and President and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s personal finance resource for women. “We helped LinkedIn create the Connect: Professional Women’s Network to provide women at all stages of their careers with a forum to share insights and support one another as they define their own path. Through Connect and Women & Co., we’re able to educate them with the tools they need to be successful in the decisions that they make along the way.”

“Connect: Professional Women’s Network group, powered by Citi, is a shining example of how a company can truly connect with members in a rich and meaningful way through social media,” said Jonathan Lister, Vice President, North America Sales, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn. “Citi’s organic involvement in the daily conversation has paid off tremendously with record engagement and retention rates seen for any group on our platform – which has enabled us to glean powerful insights about the needs of our professional women members.”

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