Going into the interviews, I had assumed that if accomplished women were childless, surely they had chosen to be.I was prepared to believe that the exhilaration and challenge of a megawatt career made it easy to opt out of motherhood. When I surveyed these women about children, their sense of loss was palpable.The research shows that, generally speaking, the more successful the man, the more likely he will find a spouse and become a father.
She gave her take on these disturbing realities when I interviewed her for the study.
Adler was the bank’s most senior woman, and her highly successful career had left no room for family.
I just didn’t get it together in time.” Then she whispered, “I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I still ache for a child.” Why has the age-old business of having babies become so difficult for today’s high-achieving women?
In January 2001, in partnership with the market research company Harris Interactive and the National Parenting Association, I conducted a nationwide survey designed to explore the professional and private lives of highly educated, high-earning women.
By being more deliberate about career and family trade-offs, they take a vital first step toward having it all—or at least having what men have. In the words of one senior manager, the typical high-achieving woman childless at midlife has not made a choice but a “creeping nonchoice.” The findings presented in this article are compelling in the way that brutal statistics can be.
But for me, the most powerful evidence of a problem came from the personal stories I heard while conducting the research.
Mike Goldstein is a one-on-one dating coach who helps men and women find love efficiently.
He has been featured on “The Today Show,” The Star Ledger, Reader’s Digest, and Shape Magazine.
The survey results are featured in my new book, of women—measured in terms of earning power—and focus on two age groups: an older generation, ages 41 to 55, and their younger peers, ages 28 to 40, as defined for survey purposes.