Closing The Gap

CNBC anchor Kelly Evans has 4 kids under age 5: 'Be ambitious at home' and at work

Kelly Evans, CNBC
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

For many people, being ambitious is about the accomplishments they hope to achieve either professionally or financially. But according to Kelly Evans, anchor of CNBC's "The Exchange" and "Power Lunch," you can "be ambitious at home as well."

Ambition drives Evans, 37, every day as she reports on what's happening in the world of finance, real estate and economics. But she says that this drive may show up differently for other people.

"Ambition doesn't always look like you think it might look. [I have] a relentless drive and a hunger for information and for understanding these complex global markets," Evans says. "It's not ambition to achieve some certain end or the other; it's more this ambition and this drive to want to know what's happening in financial markets and what that tells us about where the world is going."

Evans' strong desire for success also pushes her to be the best mother she can be, an aspect of her life she says is harmonious with her professional duties. She encourages people to set their personal goals as high as their work goals.  

"You can want to have a large family," she says. "We had four kids in five years. And you can have that ambition to have a beautiful home life and still have this drive in the workplace. And those things often help each other. They're not at odds."

Working mothers especially can struggle with balancing a career and life at home, since they tend do more domestic work than men. This imbalance can sometimes result in women choosing to sacrifice their work ambitions to fulfill their other responsibilities. 

During the pandemic, mothers quit their jobs at twice the rate of men, according to the 2022 "State of Motherhood" report from Motherly, an online parenting platform. After surveying over 10,000 moms, Motherly found a lack of access to child care to be a leading cause — among unemployed millennial and Gen Z respondents, nearly half (46%) say they left the workforce in 2021 specifically because of child-care issues.

Evans is no stranger to the hardships that come with being a working mom. Still, she says, her ambitious nature helps her push through.

"I'm in a season of life that is very hectic right now with four kids under five at home. But the same ambition that drives me to want to understand the world can be ambition at home to have this big, beautiful family to take care of and want to raise them with the access that I might have to financial markets and to understanding the world in a very unique way," she says. "And it motivates me to be able to now have people to share my professional life with."

If you want to level up in your life, virtual coaching platform BetterUp has five tips to get started: 

  1. Figure out what motivates you
  2. Set SMART goals
  3. Take action after identifying your motivators
  4. Invest in your personal and professional development
  5. Take better care of your body to promote focus and concentration 

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