01/20/2012 07:02 pm ET Updated Jan 20, 2012

What Do Women Want? Survey Says

What do women want? We may be getting closer to an answer to the eternal question, thanks to a recent study. “Today’s Women: Newfound Power, Persistent Expectations,” conducted by Ipsos, examined what female millennials, members of Generation X and baby boomers believe is expected of them in contrast to their own internal motivations, focusing on three major areas: Look Good, Be Nice and Do It All.

Overall, the survey found, more women are motivated to have balance in life (75 percent) and be fulfilled (73 percent) than to do it all (just 44 percent). And, in a bit of a head scratcher, while 70 percent of women are motivated to be financially independent, just 49 percent are motivated to have a career. Gen X women had the biggest clash between their "expectations" and "motivations," with 61 percent saying they feel they're expected to have a career, but only 49 percent are really motivated to do so. Perhaps this conflict is due to the fact that, as a demographic, this generation still has kids living at home?

Why it matters to your business: "Having it all" may not be a message that really resonates with women anymore, especially those in Generation X who are caught between the baby boomers' belief that you can have it all and Gen Y's acceptance that you can't. If you want your messages to reach women today, focusing on the idea of balance, fulfillment and personal motivation can be a better way to go than focusing on helping them have it all.