Women’s most important life goal is being independent, study says

October 18th, 2010 - 10:02 pm ICT by BNO News  

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (BNO NEWS) — The Levi’s Shaping a New Future study, which was released on Monday, shows that 96 percent of women worldwide in their 20s list “being independent” as their most important life goal.

The Levi’s “Shaping a New Future: Women Navigating Adulthood in a New Millennium” global study was conducted to better understand the challenges, expectations, goals and experiences that “Millennial” women face around the world. The study shows a generational shift in life priorities and a need for a new, nontraditional form of mentorship.

According to the study, 87 percent of women surveyed defined success as “being able to shape their future.” Meanwhile, last on Millennials’ priority list was marriage (50 percent) and other more traditional pursuits such as being a mother (68 percent) and being wealthy (43 percent).

In addition, more than half (58 percent) of women worldwide “do not have a definite plan to achieve their long-term goals.” This lack of a “life plan” is precisely what Millennial women seem to relish - and perhaps what makes previous generations so nervous, leading to accusations of Millennials extending childhood into their twenties.

However, independence does not mean women are not seeking mentorship. According to the study, women are transforming mentorship into a communal exchange involving shared communication among many women rather than one-on-one.

In fact, the findings show that 94 percent of women agree that “the best mentors are people you can both give advice to and receive advice from.” In addition, 88 percent agree that “a mentor is someone who helps them shape their future, regardless of their age or professional experience,” and 77 percent say that “mentors can be someone their own age.”

“Today, young women face more opportunity in their twenties than any generation of women before them. It’s important we understand their mindset and their cultural and societal impact. We truly see ShapeWhatsToCome.com as a community of women changing the world - it’s a global platform of women coming together to share, inspire, grow and shape their futures,” said Mary Alderete, Vice President of Levi’s Global Women’s Marketing.

Aside from living in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment, there are many choices and options open to Millennial women, and technology has dramatically increased their access to these different avenues in their lives.

“For many Millennial women, the expected path or ‘ladder’ towards adulthood – which included milestones such as school, career, marriage and motherhood - to be achieved in that order, has blurred,” said Lindsey Pollak, Millennial expert, bestselling author and lead collaborator on the Levi’s Shaping a New Future study.

“In its place is a web of opportunities that Millennials sample throughout their twenties, representing a different approach from previous generations. These women are challenging long-held beliefs about success as they navigate a complex world,” she added.

StrategyOne conducted a rigorous, two-phase study to provide projectable, reliable insights to form an understanding of Millennial women’s perceptions of this important juncture of their lives.

Phase 1 consisted of a comprehensive, global literature review and focus groups among women in the United States, France, and Japan.

In phase 2, a 15-minute telephone survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 Millennial women ages 21 to 29 across five countries: Brazil, France, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

A sufficient sample of respondents across the Millennial generation - Younger Millennials (age 21-24) and Older Millennials (age 25-29) - was obtained in order to compare perceptions, behaviors and trends.

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