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Hopes and dreams of French teens

Young French people's ambition is to grow up to be the new Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

YOUNG French people’s ambition is to grow up to be the new Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

A survey of a representative sample of 500 people aged 14-17 found that IT bosses were the figures whose careers they would most like to emulate (30 per cent of responses), followed by sports stars (25 per cent).

Another 20 per cent take people from the entertainment and cultural worlds, such as singers and actors, as role models, while only five per cent cited politicians.

The remaining 20 per cent fell into a catch-all category including family members and professionals.

The top 10 individuals cited by respondents as inspirational were Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple, followed by footballer Zinedine Zidane; Académie Française member,
politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil; celebrity chef Cyril Lignac; actress and comedian Florence Fosti; singer and former tennis player Yannick Noah; fashion designer Karl Lagerfield; and film director Steven Spielberg.

Asked which large firm or organisation they would like to work for, Google, Apple or Microsoft came first (30 per cent), followed by transport (eg. Air France or the SNCF), 25 per cent. The public sector (including teaching, forces, hospitals, councils, research etc) appealed to 20 per cent.

The top 10 named organisations were: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Air France, the SNCF, hospitals, state education, the forces and gendarmerie, Total and EDF.

Asked about the world they want to live in, young people said they wanted it to be stress-free, with plenty of free time and with respect for people and the environment.

That contrasts with their view of their parents’ working lives: 39 per cent said their mother's work was tiring and stressful and 11 per cent though it “very hard”, compared to 23 per cent who
though it was fulfilling (the rest giving neutral answers or none). The figures for fathers were even worse at 47, 15 and 19.

The study was done by the Observatoire de la Parentalité en Entreprise, which seeks to help employees find a good balance between their professional and parenting lives.

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