Women Increasingly Say They Can 'Have It All,' Survey Finds

04/12/2013 11:08 am ET | Updated May 10, 2013
  • Harry Bradford Associate Editor, HuffPost Business and HuffPost Small Business

Forget what celebrities, captains of industry and even world leaders seem to think -- more American women are saying it is possible to strike a balance between a successful career and fulfilling home life, according to a new poll.

Roughly 66 percent of women say it’s impossible for women to “have it all,” meaning both a successful professional and family life, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll taken earlier this month. That’s still a solid number, but it's actually down from 77 percent in 1997, even as women face rising pay gaps at work.

The question appears to be dividing women young and old. Among those 65 years old and over, 76 percent said they agree that a woman can "have it all," the survey authors told The Huffington Post. Only 66 percent of those between 18 and 34 years old agreed.

The question of "having it all" has remained a hot topic ever since Anne-Marie Slaughter, a State Department official, wrote a piece in The Atlantic entitled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” last June.

Many remain ambivalent, among them Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, the recent book advising women on balancing career and home life. She argues that "common sense" means women are bound to make some concessions.

That could be due to the challenges women face in the workplace. Four in 10 women say they have faced discrimination at work, the same poll found. Add to that the fact that women face lower pay rates than men in nearly all jobs, according to a separate analysis by the Center For American Progress.

On average, it appears "having it all" is still little more than a dream for many women.

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