The Pew Research Center said 66 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 34 said a career and hefty salary are "very important" or "one of the most important things" to them. Only 59 percent of men in the same age group agreed.
In 1997, 58 percent of young men and 56 percent of young women rated career as a top priority.
Among those ages 35 to 64, 43 percent of men and 42 percent of women put career near the top of the list. In 1997, only 26 percent of women did so, compared to 41 percent of men.
But men and women of all ages still say family life is more important. Both being a good parent and having a happy marriage were rated more highly.
In 1997, 46.2 percent of the labor force was female, which grew to 46.7 percent in 2010. In the 1970s, women were less than 40 percent of the labor force.
The data combined two Pew surveys conducted Dec. 6-19, 2011, and Jan. 14-27, 2010, querying 1,181women and 1,308 men, ages 18 to 64. No margin of error was provided.