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Can Men & Women Both Be Very Successful at Work and Have Marriage and Children?

You would think that today the answer to this question would be an unequivocal yes but there still seems to be a discrepancy between men and women who are successful and passionate about their careers and whether they can manage a family.

Research shows that most successful women still do most of the domestic and childcare and they feel torn between work and home.  In the past men would work and choose wives who would manage the home front.  Today sometimes nannies and housekeepers fill in when both people work.

But even so, it seems that single successful career women have a harder time marrying and having a family while succeeding at their career.  Here are some factoids:

Research shows that only 16% of high achieving women think they can have it all but 39% of women believe men can!

A 1995 study showed that only 13-17% of women managed to have both a career and kids by 40 years old and 55% remained childless.  75% of men the same age with the same career success who wanted kids and a career had both.

Only 8% of highly successful women marry for the first time after 30.  3% marry after 35 years old.  In contrast, 76% of high achieving men of the same age marry.

49% of female executives who earn more than $100,000 a year are childless whereas only 19% of 40 year old male executives don’t have kids.

In a TANGO survey 55% of women would give up their career to take care of their kids if their spouse asked them to but only 28% of these women would ask the same of their husband.

99% of men said that their managers expectations of them stayed the same or increased after the arrival of their first child.

26% of moms in a study of new parents worked part-time but only .2 percent of dads did.

So, even though gender roles in romantic relationships are changing, career women have had to make hard choices between having a career and kids but men have not.  Are we getting uncomfortable with this double standard? Do you notice it changing?  What do you want for yourself?  Would you discuss this with your mate while dating?  What experiences have you had in doing this?  Please share…

To explore the challenges that single career women face in balancing work, dating, marriage and family, order my upcoming book:  When Mars Women Date: How Career Women Love Themselves into the Relationship of Their Dreams by Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman.

*Permission to use excerpt with proper attribution


About this Author:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a licensed psychologist, owner of My Dating School (, author of Dating from the Inside Out, published by Atria Books, a regular speaker at The Learning Annex and is the NY Love Examiner. She’s been an expert on television like the CBS Early Show & the AM Northwest Early Show and a radio guest on the Curtis Sliwa show. She’s been quoted on, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek,, More,,, Fox Business, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Metro news­papers, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman magazines, and the NY Times.  Her new book, When Mars Women Date: How Career Women Can Love Themselves into the Relationship of their Dreams ebook can be ordered on Amazon through October. It will come out in the print version in December.  Learn more about it on her website:!