How have your ambitions changed since COVID? We’d love to know

How have your career ambitions changed since COVID? We’d love to know


Take the five minute ambitions survey here. You’ll be anonymous, and your answers will help us advocate for what women need.

Since launching Women’s Agenda back in 2012, we’ve taking a strong interest in the topic of ambition.

It’s a word and subject area – back in those early years at least – that was still a difficult one for a lot of women. Many of us have been long socialized to keep our ambitions to ourselves, or even to never consider some of the career options and opportunities that plenty of men believe are simply theirs for the taking.

But overall we love ambition. We love promoting and supporting the ambitions of women. We love reporting on when and how women achieve their ambitions. And we love exploring how what we’re hoping to achieve is changing, along with the barriers that may be in the way.

That’s why we’ve previously run two major survey on women’s ambition on Women’s Agenda, the first in 2017 and the second in 2019. Each time we’ve received thousands of responses from women sharing what they want from their careers and what, if anything, they think might get in the way.

We’ve used these findings to drive some of our editorial as well as our conversations with different corporates and policy-makers. We’ve used it to highlight how diverse the ambitions of women are – and how significant (but often very much addressable) some of the challenges and hurdles in the way are. We’ve used these findings to share how women are not the ones that need fixing, rather it’s so often the lack of support around them that needs the real attention: that includes everyone from managers to family members, employers, investors and policy makers.

Overall, we’ve used these reports to highlight that there is no shortage of ambition from women in Australia. That there is a very strong desire to earn more, to get a promotion, to change industries, to start a business, to grow careers while managing caring responsibilities and working flexibly.

In 2021, it’s time to do this ambitions survey again.

But this time, we know that things may be very different.

We’ve obviously just experienced a significant period of upheaval. COVID-19 has forced us to rethink how and where we work as well as what we want from paid work. In some cases it’s pushed women out of work, and/or push created additional caring and domestic responsibilities at home, changing the amount of time and energy we can put into paid work. In other cases, it’s enabled women to create new opportunities and avenues for work that may have previously been thought impossible.

We have, internationally and very much locally here, asked a lot of women during this period. We’ve seen women take on the majority of the frontline positions, and manage the bulk of the caring and domestic duties at home. We’ve seen female-dominated industries miss out on vital government stimulus. We’ve seen women lose jobs at faster rates than men. And, just recently, we saw that the women’s workforce participation rate has actually gone backward.

For many industries, the shift to remote work and work from home due to the COVID-19 is a shift that is here to stay. This may have significant impacts on what many of us want from career and now believe is possible from our careers. But it also has the potential to create divisions: between those in work and careers that can be done remotely, as well as between those who may take the option to work from home and those who return to Monday to Friday office life, as if nothing every changed.

We’ll be exploring these issues and so much more through this study.

If you can spare five minutes (and we know it’s a huge ask), we’d be hugely grateful if you could complete this survey. It will help us shape not only our content over the next year, but will also give us some excellent research to use for advocating for the things women need to be best positioned to pursue their ambitions.

Take the survey here. Your responses are anonymous.

The survey is made possible thanks to the support of AGSM, at the University of NSW.

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