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Poll: Younger women more ambitious, less confident

For its Sept. 17 issue, Time magazine teamed up with with fellow Time Inc. brand, Real Simple, to find out how women really feel about ambition in themselves and in others.

The result? Contrary to all the hand-wringing about confidence and motivation at work, a recent article reports that the survey found women were just about as ambitious as men, and that “ambitious” doesn’t necessarily have the same negative connotations as, for example, “bossy” does.

However, there were other findings that highlighted how ambition changes over time, how mothers experience ambition differently from non-mothers, and how women at different stages of their careers think about what they want and how to get it.

Here are some of the most surprising findings from the poll:
  1. Men are slightly more likely to call themselves ambitious than women are, but not by much.
  2. Younger women are significantly more ambitious than older ones.
  3. Despite their big dreams, millennial women are a lot less confident.
  4. Women who are well into their careers are more likely to think of ambition as an unappealing quality, although, overall, the term seems to be widely embraced by men and women of all ages.
  5. Women without children are more likely to feel guilty that they aren’t ambitious enough.
  6. The idea of retirement is more appealing to women with children, and the idea of a dream job is more appealing to women without kids.
  7. Children also seem to affect how women rationalize their own ambitions.
To read more insight into these seven findings, go to Time.com.

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