careers

For love and money: Many parents want to work

Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:11 AM ET

Some parents say they'd want to work outside the home even if finances weren't an issue, a new study finds.
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Some parents say they'd want to work outside the home even if finances weren't an issue, a new study finds.

Working parents certainly have their share of struggles, but it turns out many wouldn’t want it any other way.

A new survey of executives around the world finds that more than four in 10 male and female working parents would prefer to work rather than stay at home, even if finances were not an issue.

The male and female executives surveyed held nearly equal views on the topic, according to the report released Thursday by consulting firm Accenture. It found that 44 percent of working dads and 42 percent of working moms would prefer to work even if they didn’t have to worry about money.

Nellie Borrero, managing director of global and inclusion and diversity at Accenture, said she was surprised by the results until she thought of her own life and how much she’d enjoyed both her career and her family life.

“You can make them both work,” she said.

Still, Borrero said it wasn’t surprising that more than half appeared to be working at least in part for the paycheck. She said in her experience, the financial rewards of work also have been a big motivating factor in her decision to have a career and children.

“I also think that I’ve been able to give them the lifestyle that they have because of the career that I’ve had,” she said of her own children.

The survey, which was conducted in November, included 4,100 business executives from 32 countries and had a margin of error of 2 percent.

Related: Dads, are you stressed out by work and family pressures? 

A group of executives from around the world might not be representative of all workers, and, of course, many parents don’t have the luxury of choosing whether to collect a paycheck or not.

Still, other research has shown that for women at least, the ideal solution is often to work part time.

A Pew Research Center study of American workers, conducted in late 2012, found that 47 percent of mothers with at least one child under age 18 said the ideal situation would be to work part time.

That compares with 32 percent of moms who said that ideally they would work full time, and 20 percent who said they’d prefer not to work at all.

Finances may play a role in determining the ideal situation. The Pew researchers found that lower-income moms and single moms were much more likely to say their ideal situation would be to work full time.

Allison Linn is a reporter at CNBC. Follow her on Twitter @allisondlinn or send her an e-mail


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