Teen Careers Poll: Boys Motivated by Higher Salary While More Girls Are Self-Motivated

Junior Achievement-ING poll finds differences in motivation, goals and career choices between boys and girls

Mar 08, 2010, 05:20 ET from Junior Achievement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of women surpasses men in the workforce, a recent Junior Achievement (JA)-ING poll found striking differences in the opinions of teenage boys and girls in what motivates them to excel on the job and what tools they consider important in determining career success.

Motivation to succeed stems from very different places for boys and girls. The JA-ING poll found that fewer girls than boys said they needed perks such as a promotion and raise (girls 38 percent, boys 56 percent), to excel on the job. When asked if they needed additional motivation to succeed, 40 percent of girls responded that they did not, while only 22 percent of boys said they needed no extra motivation. Also, when asked what would motivate them to take a less than ideal job, the poll found that fewer girls say they are motivated by a higher salary than boys, with 67 percent girl respondents saying they were motivated by a higher salary versus 74 percent of boy respondents.

Boys and girls also had differing opinions on how to prepare for career success. While 85 percent of girls identified schools programs, such as job shadowing, that help develop work skills and prepare them for a career, only 78 percent of boys identified the above as important for career readiness. Furthermore, girls (68 percent) placed more value on mentoring and networking than boys (61 percent) in helping them get a good job.

"Despite some interesting gaps among young women and men, we're seeing that all teens are thinking very seriously about their career paths," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president of Junior Achievement USA.  "Teens are telling us they want to channel this energy and invest in their future careers. Junior Achievement programs help kids reach their goals by providing them with positive career role models and with the tools to be successful in the workplace, such as leadership and teamwork skills."

As women start to outnumber men in the workforce, taking a look at what careers boys and girls aspire to can provide insight on whether this new workplace balance is here to stay. According to the JA-ING poll, girls are still lagging behind boys in choosing careers in math and science – only 10 percent of girls picked engineering and science versus 19 percent of boys, and two percent of girls are pursuing careers in computers versus eight percent of boys. However, girls are choosing careers that are and will continue to be in high demand – 20 percent of girls want to be doctors versus only nine percent of boys, and 13 percent of girls are pursuing teaching versus four percent of boys. Girls are selecting those jobs which tend to be more in demand, which should further tilt the employment scales in their favor.

For a full survey abstract, visit: http://ja.org/files/polls/kids_careers_2010-JA-ING-Teens-and-Career-Poll.pdf.


The Junior Achievement-ING Kids and Careers Poll was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation from December 10-13, 2009, and surveyed 750 U.S. boys and girls ages 12-17 by telephone. The survey's margin of error is +/- 3.4 percent.

About Junior Achievement® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 128 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 125 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance, and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 110,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves nearly 30 million customers across the nation.

ING's diversity management philosophy and commitment to workplace diversity, diversity marketing, corporate citizenship and supplier diversity fosters an inclusive environment for employees that supports a distinctive product and service experience for the financial services consumer.

For more information, visit www.ing.com/us.

About the ING Foundation

The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on programs in the areas of financial literacy, children's education, diversity, and environmental sustainability.

For more information, visit www.ing-usafoundation.com.


Stephanie Bell

JA Worldwide®

(719) 540-6171


Audria Belton Benn


(770) 980-5715


SOURCE Junior Achievement