The weight of the world is on their shoulders, and women have had it. While the world may not be against women, it sure isn’t helping them. In addition to the burdens of a job, women carry the weight of societal expectations and judgments.
- Tired of unreciprocated contributions: Nearly 9 in 10 women (86%) agree that women contribute more to society than they get back.
- The unbearable mental load: Over 7 in 10 women (71%) said it’s their job to be the Chief Worry Officer (CWO) as they are tasked, explicitly and implicitly, with the mental load at home and at work of thinking through every scenario, and planning for every contingency.
- Zero-support structure: 4 in 5 women (82%) said that while there’s much talk about overburdened women, no one is helping them ease the burden.
However, despite the value women bring to work, there is still ultimately the shadow of what “women are expected to be” that follows them around. The expectations are to work like they have no home life and care for the home as if they have no careers.
Women Are in Crisis
When things are consistently tough, being resilient won’t work. Burnout is a real phenomenon. A McKinsey report from 2022 showed that 42% of women experience burnout in the workplace. Not only that, but women are more susceptible to burnout compared to me, especially working moms.
Throw in societal expectations of a woman’s role at home, and that’s a lot of responsibility and undue stress for one person.
The Skimm’s co-founders and co-CEOs Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg state,
“Women are in crisis. And it’s been that way for decades. After facing one obstacle after another these past three years, we are making one thing clear: The state of women today is not working. And now, we have the data to back it up.”
Women can certainly do it all, but the current culture and expectations placed on them are unsustainable. Any support stated within a company’s policy, or even from your friendly neighborhood handyman, is an illusion.
Women are frustrated, tired, and ready for change, and it shows.
Women Are Rewriting The Next Chapter
What does a strong career-oriented woman do to fix this problem? Because society, indeed, does not have the answers, and switching jobs won’t necessarily change anything.
So, women are making seismic changes to their lives, prioritizing their needs, and exhibiting agency and the willingness to make tough choices to secure their futures. In other words, they are taking back control by writing their own script and making their own rules that work for them.
According to the same Harris poll, this is how women have responded to the madness:
Taking Control of Their Lives
9 in 10 millennial women (89%) are actively seeking ways to build the lives they want. They are no longer accepting what’s given to them; rather, they are creating their own happy reality.
Women Are Deciding What’s Best
4 in 5 (83%) women agree that they are done letting society dictate a woman’s role. Instead, they are deciding what works best for them and going for it, no questions asked.
Women are deciding to “say no” to the things that no longer serve them and to “say yes” to what makes their lives better. Even more important, they are making these decisions to suit their unique circumstances, irrespective of outside societal forces.
Recognizing the Power of Their Goals
Two-thirds (64%) feel the trajectory of their lives is more determined by their goals and actions rather than societal factors (36%). Knowing that you are driven to accomplish things on your to-do list can be empowering and make it much easier to shed outside expectations and do what is truly best for you!
Skimm’s co-founders and co-CEO add, “This campaign and the corresponding report go beyond spotlighting women’s challenges. It’s bringing to light their actions to impact their futures positively. This campaign aims to highlight what’s not working while offering her the resources and tools to prioritize herself and her needs. Because continuing this way is not sustainable for business or our economy.”
Whether you work for yourself, a small business, or a major corporation, it’s important to have the support you need professionally and personally. Beyond societal expectations are the realities of balancing career and life; managing the two sustainably is vital for career longevity and mental and physical health.