Disgrace: AdWeek’s “Mom Achiever” Survey Results

One of the topics that generates the highest traffic on my blog and the most comments, along with the most feedback from readers on the WM FB page is the topic of work-life choices. Additionally, this is one of those rare topics that compel people to send me individual emails. It is no surprise to anyone that this topic is so interesting for women because there is no easy answer. It is a constant daily struggle for so many women. We already know there is no such thing as “balance” – so instead we focus on choices. And the reason we struggle with these decisions is because it’s all about time and compromise – what are we giving up to gain, what are we missing by going to work, what are we missing by staying home, what about the kids?

Etc. Etc.

At least this image isn't offensive like the one on the AdWeek web site

So along comes this  new AdWeek study about us – mothers in the age range of most of my readers (far as I can tell from those sneaky FB “insights” I get from those of you who hang out on my FB page). According to AdWeek’s latest survey, we are driven and highly educated. Sure, we already  knew that because well, Moi Loves Moi, so of course we are fabulous.

Also according to AdWeek, 42% of us would rather receive a 50% increase in pay than spend 50% more time with our children.

REALLY?

First – what did the other MAJORITY of women say who answered differently than those 42%?

And if there were any truth to these results,  why would we be so fascinated with the topic of work-life CHOICES? If it were true, then we wouldn’t care so much because we’d love laying around in our bed of money.

As someone who studied statistics pretty deeply in graduate school, I’d love to know more about this absurd survey question. I mean, if you asked me, hey – you can keep going to work AND get paid 50% more for it – but it doesn’t mean you get 50% more time with your kid, it just means your hours stay the same, and you get paid 50% more – I’d say

OF COURSE.

But if someone said, you can keep your job, and your salary, AND get 50% MORE TIME with your kid because now you are working part-time but for a full-time salary- then I’d choose that option .

Confused?

That’s my point. Exactly what did they ask the survey respondents? What other questions were they asked?

And I’m sorry, depending on the kind of weekend I just had, I might have just said I’d rather get to work to get a break from my kids too – but it doesn’t mean I mean it – so was that really a question that people were meant to answer seriously?

Speaking of serious questions, was there any intent on the part of AdWeek to actually generate some helpful insights into working moms? Questions that might help force some change in business attitudes towards the struggle women face in managing their careers and their families? The very real, daily struggle that millions of moms are dealing with? Questions that might provide advertisers some true insight into these driven women who also spend money easily on the Internet – to allow them to build campaigns that resonate with us?? Or they think that insulting us somehow motivates us to $pend money?

These questions are empty and strike me as something written by non-parents to generate some headlines instead of using the money spent on this research to garner real insight into today’s working mom. Also, no shit we want more personal time, AdWeek. Find me any generation of mothers who wouldn’t have said the same thing. Going to work every day isn’t unique to craving personal time. Find me any stay-at-home mother who has personal time while raising young kids? Please – where is she? So again, personal time is the best you could do?

For a more productive and insightful read into work-life choices, read this interview with Ann Mukherjee, senior vice president at Frito Lay. My biggest take-aways from her interview is the important reminder that this is a journey, not a destination, and that helps keep focused on the bigger picture view of our decisions – and that we learn from failure.  Two things driven women who are short on personal time, easily lose sight of.

To keep up with the interesting discussion of these survey results, and other fun work-life conversations, be sure to “Like” the Wired Momma FB page.

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