This Is the Most Difficult Age to Be a Woman

Kelsey Clark

Each stage of life ushers in a new set of problems and difficulties, both personally and professionally. But Wendy McCarthy, a serial entrepreneur and author of Don't Fence Me In, believes that life's road bumps are slightly more pronounced for women in their late 20s and early 30s, according to her opening address at the Women World Changers Summit last Wednesday. 

"It's a tough time," said McCarthy of the time period."[Women] must make the decision of whether they want to be a parent and have all the pressures that come with that. … My experience is that ambition comes later in life." She then goes on to explain how women expect themselves to have their relationships, families, and careers mapped out by this stage—a lofty goal that is seldom accomplished at such a young age. McCarthy even admits that she was "only practicing" during all her years of life leading up to age 55, reminding us all that there's plenty of time for success later down the road.

Once women take on the difficult task of juggling work and family, McCarthy believes that many begin to question their ability to accelerate their careers according to plan—a realization Australian lawyer Elizabeth Broderick calls "late onset feminism." "[This is] something many women experience particularly after having babies, when they realize their careers and lives will take a very different track to men who have kids," writes Women's Agenda. "It's a confusing, difficult time. But it's also a period that sees new networks and connections blossom… We seek more mentors and sponsors, share stories with colleagues, [and] make time for events and seminars."

Do you agree that the late 20s and early 30s are a difficult time for women? Share your thoughts below.

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