Although 2016 did not see a woman in the most prestigious office in Washington, the aftermath and current social climate continues to showcase paradigm shifts amongst women who have an appetite for success, a passion for equality, a temperament of tolerance and a firm belief that they too can have it all. As more of us remain or return to the workplace, or, try to pursue an entrepreneurial venture that will finally rule our destiny and income, we continue to be challenged with the delicate art of juggling career achievements with our ongoing life demands. Whether we enjoy office politics, personal time, or play dates we continue to keep invisible balls in the air with a grand goal of getting ahead, while staying in control.
Our ambition has now fueled an insurmountable lack of work-life balance that will continue to be a problem as confirmed by a recent McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org study on working women. The study interviewed more than 34,000 male and female respondents at 132 global companies and revealed that despite our tireless grind, we still make up less than 5% of those who sit at the VP level, 2% with the title SVP, and we’re just 1% of the makeup of the C-Suite. In the face of these stark statistics, perhaps we should shift our aim from having it all to having “enough.”
When defining “enough,” it’s important to appreciate that despite the gender gaps in the workforce, women hold much of the economy in the palms of their manicured and delicate hands. According to Marketing Zeus’s infographic, women engage in more than $7 trillion in consumer and business spending. They also make more than 85% of the household decisions and more than 90% of the vacation purchase decisions.
If you are tempted to indulge in bleisure after a conference or business trip and take a day to sightsee or have a pampering day at the hotel’s spa, know you aren’t alone. Further, have no shame if you are longing for a solo jaunt or getaway with your girlfriends who equally seek a bit of “me/we time” to counter the effort we give to get ahead. Next time you are in a busy airport, conduct a visual survey. While statistics are limited, an estimated 32 million single American women traveled at least once in the last year, according to the Travel Industry Association. Solo travel is certainly on the rise among women, especially since getting away and taking a trip can tremendously added to work-life balance.
A recent study conducted by JOZU for Women, a new travel planning and booking site that caters only to women, determined that more than 87% of the 400 women based in the U.S. respondents wanted to take a solo vacation, however concerns about safety in a foreign destination were amongst their biggest reasons for not going. Lack of transparency on review websites, the lack of confidence of other online reviewers and the hesitations women have about solo or girl group travel also surfaced in the findings.
In 2017, more women responded that they wanted a break and fewer responsibilities, and, wanted to do so by immersing themselves in a new culture through leisure travel experiences. Could it be that Instagram and Pinterest and the consumption of more than 150 million images of trip porn hashtagged #travel are driving FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and our increased wanderlust?
Female leisure travel has become more blended, personalized and particular. She who plans and splurges wants a holistic experience inclusive of gourmet and local cuisines, wellness activities, spas, shopping and good company. The serendipity factor (expectation to make a new friend while on vacation) was confirmed by more than 84% in the JOZU for WOMEN study.
To enable safety and foster serendipity, JOZU for WOMEN developed a “ladies locker room” style portal that helps women explore, research and connect to destination and vacation mavens elegantly matched by a unique algorithm called JENI. The exclusive online community created by women for women, JENI (powered by Lithium) personalizes each member’s experience and curates transparent and unbiased reviews, real-time safety information about destination, hotels, and excursions and provides customized itineraries and recommendations based on each member’s unique profile, travel sophistication level, and budget. JENI is the ultimate travel companion, and offers attraction recommendations, real-time safety tips based on location, and curates the sentiment and feedback of its members to make city and hotel selections that are more likely to leave a member with a remarkable and memorable.
As the demand for experiences overtakes the need for materialism, and, as women continue to leverage their purchasing power to gain balance by “taking a break”, many of them are now starting to realize that having enough is more satisfying that trying to have it all. “Enough” is when no matter where on the corporate ladder we sit we choose to reward ourselves for work well done, step back and breath in our accomplishments as bosses, colleagues, partners, wives, mothers, and sisters, celebrate our success and become inspired to rise further. That’s why more companies are working to develop innovative solutions that specifically cater to the work-life balance needs of women.
After all, a broken bird can’t break through a glass ceiling.
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