Story Courtesy of The Harris Poll
NEW YORK -- America has come a long way since 1971 when The Harris Poll found that equal parts of the American public favored and opposed efforts to strengthen and change women’s status in society (42 percent favor and 41 percent oppose).
Today, majorities of Americans say they would be equally likely to trust either a man or a woman in various leadership roles; three in four agree that the U.S. has come a long way toward reaching gender equality, and nearly nine in 10 acknowledge that, compared to previous generations, men today are willing to take on more responsibilities at home (86 percent).
We’ve come a long way indeed, but we’re not there yet – women still face barriers to leadership opportunities and lack of recognition in the workplace, but more than eight in 10 adults are hopeful that gender equality will be achieved in their lifetime (84 percent), including nearly half (47 percent) who strongly agree.
This Harris Poll was conducted online in English within the United States between June 1 and June 3, 2016 among 2,097 adults. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,097 U.S. adults surveyed online between June 1 and 3, 2016.
Most U.S. adults are optimistic about what the future will hold for American women:
• About nine in 10 believe the next decade will see more female leaders (91 percent)
• Majorities think the next generation of American women will have more leadership opportunities (69 percent), higher income potential (65 percent) and greater freedom to marry (57 percent)
• Only about half are as confident about increased access to education (53 percent) and health care (50 percent) and more protection against violence (51 percent)
• More than nine in 10 Americans (93 percent) agree – including nearly two in three (65 percent) who strongly agree – that we must make faster progress in preventing violence against women
Large majorities of Americans agree that the responsibility for change lies with all facets of society:
• The media play a crucial role in shaping gender roles and norms (87 percent)
• It’s important that families teach their children that girls can do anything that boys can do (89 percent)
• Businesses, non-profits, schools and government need to work together with families to promote gender equality (84 percent)
• Employers can also help level the corporate playing field by taking certain steps – such as flexibility and transparency – to promote equal leadership opportunities for men and women in the workplace
But ultimately, the bulk of the burden to inspire change lies with women themselves – while the vast majority of adults feel everyone should have at least some responsibility for improving American women’s lives, nearly two in three place the onus primarily on women: