In celebration of International Women’s Day today, a new Aussie survey by Roy Morgan Research has delved into that tricky issue: what do women really want out of life?

Life goals

When asked whether their main goal in life was security, excitement, family, prosperity or importance, 41.9% of Australian women aged 14+ chose family. Second most popular choice was security (28.7%), followed by prosperity (11.4%).

Family ties in Australia

The fact that so many Australian women consider a family life their most important goal is not so surprising — we live in a family-oriented society, after all. What’s most striking about this result is the relative consistency between women of different generations.

Generation Y is the most family-oriented generation, with 45.2% naming family as their most important life goal. Generation X women (44.9%), Pre-Boomers (41.5%) and Baby Boomers (40.3%) aren’t far behind.

While Generation Z women and girls place a slightly lower emphasis on family life (32.2%), it’s still their most popular goal by a long shot. However, they also yearn for adventure, with 20.1% naming an exciting life as their top goal — more than double the proportion of any other generation.

The importance of being important

And an important life? Not so important in the great scheme of things, it seems. A relatively modest 6.6% of Australian women name this as their main goal.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says: “International Women’s Day is an opportune time to reflect on the status of women around the world, and how far we’ve come towards achieving gender equality.

“In Australia and New Zealand, the days of women being ineligible to vote or stand for Parliament are long gone, but even now, we still trail men when it comes to average salary.

“It’s interesting to note that an important life is the least popular goal among women in both countries, and one must wonder whether this is a consequence of nature or nurture. Still, it doesn’t mean we won’t see a few future Prime Ministers, Nobel Prize-winners and world-changing activists among this minority.”

Raise a glass to women today and let’s continue to improve women’s rights all around the world!