‘Having it all’ is a concept that women have been discussing and aspiring to attain for nearly 40 years. Still, the conversation continues because no one has determined what having “it all” actually means. After decades of debate, women today are reshaping the definition. And female relationships are proving to be a powerful force.
A new social experiment from LEAN CUISINE® asked women to define their ‘ideal life’ and explored how they made decisions alone versus in the presence of other women (i.e. – friends, family members and colleagues). The results of the ItAll social experiment showed that 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women, and 77 percent chose greater aspirations in the aspects of life they deemed most important. The bottom line – women helped each other set a higher bar when striving for ‘her all.’
Despite societal stereotypes suggesting female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, the ItAll social experiment demonstrated the impact women can have on other women as an engine for ambition.
“We rarely talk about the positive power of female relationships that we saw firsthand in the ItAll experiment,” says Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University. “Women can encourage each other to shoot for more where it matters most, rather than working to accomplish something that society says we should. We have a truly unique way to inspire each other to reach our own greatest potential.”
THE EXPERIMENT and ITALL STORE
In collaboration with LEAN CUISINE, Dr. Balcetis designed this first-of-its-kind social experiment for 18 participants. To establish a baseline, participants were individually surveyed about what they want in life through a questionnaire. They were asked questions about their ideal family life, career, finances, personal enrichment, health & wellness, education and more.
Weeks later, participants were invited to shop at the ItAll store where items on the shelves mimicked the initial survey – salary ranges, types of careers, number of children, etc. In the store, however, each woman brought with them familiar, influential women in their life.
As they made their way through the store, the participants selected very different answers about their personal life ambitions. Participants declared a desire for higher salaries, chose to work more hours, wanted to spend more time with friends and be more involved with children.
“What was most compelling in this experiment was how women close to us can help to relieve the societal pressure to ‘have it all,’ and instead focus each other to achieve ‘her all,'” says Dr. Balcetis. “In the ItAll store, we saw women helping other women identify their truest versions of themselves and encouraging them to strike for higher potential.”
SPARKING A NEW DIALOGUE ON FEMALE AMBITION
Following the eye-opening results of the ItAll store, LEAN CUISINE wants to create a new dialogue that ensures every woman can aspire not to ‘it all,’ but to the very best version of ‘her all.’ Earlier this year, the brand launched the L.E.A.N. Fund (Lend, Empower, Achieve, Nurture), which helps lower income women thrive as entrepreneurs by providing financial support and mentorship to females who need it most.
“LEAN CUISINE has always set out to feed the greatness in women and we’re increasing our actions to explore how we can further support their pursuits,” says Rebecca Kvam, LEAN CUISINE Communications Marketing Manager. “The ItAll store ignited a new candid, meaningful conversation between women about what they truly want for their lives, and we want to help create a future in which women’s impact on each other’s ambition is more positive than ever before.”