"Millennial men and women are opting out of parenthood in equal proportions," a study of Wharton Business School graduates found. Only half as many graduates today plan to have children compared to the figure that was measured in 1992.
This is not a good thing, argues Stew Friedman, who says his research "increasingly points to the fact that the thwarting of young people’s aspirations is the result of external pressures that make having both a successful career and a child seem impossible."
Friedman is the author of Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family, and on a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, he argues that seven crucial steps need to be taken to fix this problem. These steps include providing world-class childcare, portable health care and relieving students of burdensome debt. Friedman's recommendations can be read in full here, and interestingly enough, his final suggestion is to make more role models available.
One such role model is Ruth Porat, Global CFO of Morgan Stanley. In a lesson on Big Think Edge, the only forum on YouTube designed to help you get the skills you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world, Porat describes how being a parent to three kids is one of the keys to having a complete, full life. She says
There is so much joy that comes from having a family and I've found and have encouraged people to make sure that they are complete people. If you’re just focused on work my view is that you’ll never get enough back from any organization no matter how fantastic the role is and you have to have a full life, so that you really get enriched in a lot of different ways and that can be family and kids.
Having a full life, of course, doesn't just mean having kids. It can be sports, and other activities that help shape a healthy work-life balance.
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