Saturday, March 17, 2007

48% of Australians Believe Childfree Have Better Career

No kids means more quid
DESPITE employers becoming more flexible, government attention on childcare and ongoing equal opportunities for mums and dads, many Australians still believe those with no kids are more likely to be successful in their career.

According to a survey by career building and networking site Link Me 48 per cent of 681 people surveyed from across the country believe those that are childfree are more likely to have a better career.
. . .
"A career takes a lot of focussed time to achieve and the reality is that families are demanding.

"It takes skill and discipline to master the work and family balance but it can and has been achieved before."

The survey also revealed 36.7 per cent of people feel if they were to start their own family their career would be disadvantaged.
Great. You can send us watered-down beer in giant cans, but you can't export the kind of sensible logic that acknowledges the differences between childfree and parental employees?

The article makes the (common) faux pas of childless=single, and of course likes to inspire us that it is 'possible' to juggle both. Perhaps it is, but until cheap child-care, minus the guilt of using it, plus egalitarian marriages become commonplace, the norm will still be a higher level of time commitment from childless employees. (or, of course, absent fathers)

Does calling it 'balance' imply that there is sufficient time to do both, and it is just a matter of metering it out? This view seems myopic. When a person has a demanding job and is a primary caretaker of their children, it seems more likely that there just isn't enough free time to go around. 'Balance' more likely means sacrifice - choosing a less demanding career, demanding a more involved spouse, resigning yourself to less 'quality time' with the kids. The term itself is loaded, and may be giving women either guilt (it is just my fault I can't budget my time) or false hope.

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Anonymous said...

Of course childfree people (or people without kids) are likely to be more successful. To me this is a no-brainer. It's partly a question of focus and it's a pity so many women actually believed that they could "have it all" when it comes to children and career.

My view is that they can't. Even with juggling it is crazily difficult. Many mothers give up and step off the career track altogether. The other thing is that once a woman has children, even with childcare, nannies etc, in many cases her focus changes completely. She wants to be with her kids, not working her butt off in the office. So she looks for flexible working and part-time hours. Understandable perhaps, but that's the road to a stalled career, as their commitment to work and team comes into question and they get passed over for the assignments that lead to promotions.

A childfree person can and does give full dedication, because they can. They can volunteer for projects that some mothers will not do and they put themselves in line for their next step up.

When I was thinking about whether or not to have kids career and work opportunity (or lack thereof) was a big factor.

Anonymous said...

I know women who DO seemingly successful both although one of these women's children are sick a LOT!!! So hmm!
And on the other hand what misses out?
THEY do, their free time, their interests etc. It's all work work work or kids kids kids a lot of the time.
Some seem to enjoy the attention of trying to be superwoman.
For me, no thanks I NEED my free time!
In other words you CAN "have it all" in that sense but heck who would WANT to?!