New survey finds 75 percent of Americans think discrimination still an issue for women

August 31, 2016, University of Chicago

In the wake of Hillary Clinton's historic nomination as the first woman presidential candidate of a major political party in the U.S., women continue to face obstacles in politics and the workplace, according to a national poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Three-quarters of Americans think there is at least some discrimination against women in this country, although just as many say it has decreased over the past generation.

"The impact of the country's first female nominee is perceived differently across the electorate including how Clinton's gender will impact her chances of being elected and what the long-term effects will be on ," said Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center. "For example, women and men are divided in their perception of the role gender will play in the outcome. Women are more inclined to say that Clinton's gender is a disadvantage, while men tend to say the fact that she is a woman will help her chances of being elected."

Some of the poll's key findings are:

  • Seventy-five percent say women and men are equally good at being political leaders. Yet, 53 percent think women have fewer opportunities in politics than men.
  • The public is divided on whether Clinton's gender is an advantage, a hindrance or neither for her election prospects this fall. Men are more inclined to say her gender is a benefit to her campaign, and women are more likely to say it is a barrier.
  • Seven in 10 say the historic nature of Clinton's candidacy has no bearing on their own vote choice this year. Nearly 20 percent say the opportunity to elect the first woman president makes them more inclined to vote for Clinton in November, and about 10 percent say it makes them less likely to vote for her.
  • Overall, 75 percent think discrimination against women has decreased over the past 25 years or so, but at the same time an equal number of Americans say discrimination continues to be an issue today for many women.
  • Forty-nine percent of the public think it would help the economy if the upper management of companies were made up of equal numbers of men and women. Just 2 percent say it would be bad for the economy, while 48 percent think it would make no difference.
  • However, just 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and the workplace is perceived as an uneven playing field for women. More than half of Americans think women have fewer opportunities for job advancement and 6 in 10 say they are at a disadvantage when it comes to salaries.
  • In fact, just under half of the women surveyed said they had experienced at least some type of job-related discrimination - getting a job, receiving equal pay, or being appreciated and promoted at work—because of their gender. Three in 10 report having been discriminated against in some way at work because of their .
  • Six in 10 do not expect a Clinton Administration to have any effect on the level of discrimination against women, while a quarter anticipate a reduction in the amount of would face if Clinton is elected.

Explore further: 30 percent of female physicians report sexual harassment

Related Stories

Gender discrimination—social bias in the workplace

August 18, 2016

Research by James Westphal, a strategy professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, suggests women executives face social discrimination in the workplace, making their jobs harder.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Aug 31, 2016
...and let's not forget that Bill is also breaking the gender stereotypes and blazing a trail as the first all male first lady...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.