No worries, though, because I'm a word girl. And that has served me well. I have been able to go through life pretty much avoiding numbers as much as possible. But sometimes, they do interest me. As I prepared to write my current book, I sent out a one question survey to women in my personal network. And I became very interested in the numbers, as they ended up determining the direction my book would take, in a very unexpected way:
The second half of my book goes beyond these numbers and shares stories from the women behind them. As I have been connecting with more and more moms lately, I decided I would widen my sampling. I put the same one-question survey on my new website. I was hoping the responses would be similar. After all, what would it mean for my book should the numbers be drastically different? And here's what I got:
Not only are the numbers amazingly close (phew!), I believe I can explain what differences there are fairly easily:
For the first survey I targeted a specific age group; my own generation. Women who were raised during the second wave of feminism. I expected the influences of that movement to impact the number of women who chose to work (purple on both charts). I did not capture any demographic data on the second group, but I do assume the age range is wider based on those I have connected with on Twitter (and therefore the ones most likely to have completed the survey). And so their influences growing up would likely have been different.
An atypical percentage of the women in my first group hold graduate degrees. Higher than the national average. And when I delved deeper and asked follow up question, I found that to be a significant factor in why the 20% of women from that sampling with financial options did choose to work. Again, I don't have details on the second group, but since it was not as targeted, it stands to reason that its higher education levels would be more in line with the general public.
However, since I am neither a statistician nor an expert in pretty much any area, this is all conjecture. But I personally found these numbers fascinating. Of course, no one wants to be thought of as just a number. There are times, however, when numbers can tell us a lot about people. And I think this is one of them.