This past March, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey, a leader in agile software solutions for customer experience, market research, and survey feedback, announced the results of their inaugural joint “CNBC/SurveyMonkey Women at Work” survey.

The survey finds that working women are facing more work-related challenges than they were before the pandemic. More than one-third of women thought about quitting their jobs and about one quarter of all women who stopped working in the past year did so to care for their young children full-time. Overall, 65% of women surveyed say the pandemic has made things worse for women in the workplace.

Despite the pandemic, many working women continue to have high ambitions and high career aspirations. 42% of working women consider themselves “very ambitious” when it comes to their careers, especially Black women (59%), younger women (54%), and women with children under the age of 18 (43%). However, the numbers of women who consider themselves “very ambitious” fell sharply across the board compared to 2020, when the overall number was 54%.

Additional key findings from the “CNBC/SurveyMonkey Women at Work” survey include:
• 65% of women think the pandemic has made things worse for women in the workplace:
• 74% of women age 65+ think the pandemic has made things worse for women, vs. 57% of 18-34-year-old women.
• 74% of non-working women think the pandemic has made things worse for women, vs. 51% of women working full-time.
• 22% of working women say their career has experienced a setback in the past 12 months, while 14% say their careers have advanced.

More than half of working women are experiencing burnout at least some of the time:
• 15% of working women say they feel burned out all the time and 38% say some of the time.

Among those who feel burned out some or all of the time, 22% cite a “difficulty balancing work and family obligations” as the main reason for burnout.
• 32% of women with kids under 18 who feel burned out say the main reason is “difficulty balancing work and family obligations.”

Concern about flexible work declines slightly:
• 39% of working women are still concerned that taking advantage of flexible work arrangements could harm their career goals, which is down from last year’s survey (45%).
• 53% of women with kids under 18 are worried about taking advantage of flexible work arrangements, vs. 34% of women with adult children and 37% of women with no children.
• 53% of working women are currently working outside their homes, 22% are working from home and 21% are in a hybrid situation.

“The data show professional women, particularly those from Black and Latinx communities, were hard-hit during the pandemic, with many struggling to juggle careers and disproportionate home responsibilities,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. “As remote or hybrid work models gain popularity, 39% (including 54% Black women and 49% Latinas) remain concerned that it will cost them in the workforce. Employers should prioritize supporting working women by ensuring they get the appropriate visibility and support in order to advance their careers.”

The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Women at Work online poll was conducted February 22 - March 1, 2021 among a national sample of 6,821 adults, including 2,437 women working full- or part-time and 1,159 women not working for pay. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than two million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.

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