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NextGen Magazine


Poll: 42 Percent of Women Overall, 57 Percent with Advanced Degrees, Say They Faced Gender Discrimination at Work

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 15, 2017
Pay Gap

A study from the Pew Research Center found that 42 percent of women overall say they have experienced gender discrimination in some form at the job, a statistic that grows to 57 percent when considering women with advanced degrees. This is based on a sample of 4,914 adults, ages 18 and older, from July 11-Aug. 10, 2017, including 2,344 women. The survey found that: 

* 25 percent of women said they earned less than a man doing the same job; 

* 23 percent said they were treated as if they were not competent; 

* 16 percent said that they experienced repeated, small slights at work;  

* 15 percent said they received less support from senior leaders than a man doing the same job; 

* 10 percent said they have been passed over for the most important assignments; 

* 9 percent felt isolated in the workplace due to their gender; 

* 7 percent said they had been denied a promotion because of their gender; 

* 7 percent said they had been turned down for a job because of their gender. 

Broken down by education, women with higher education levels tend to report the most experience with gender discrimination. For instance, while 16 percent overall said they receive small repeated slights at work because of their gender, the number was 29 percent for those with a post-graduate degree, 18 percent for those with a bachelor's degree, and 12 percent for those with less education. Other questions had similar educational breakdowns.

Consistent differences also emerged when sorted by income level: of women with family incomes of $100,000 or higher, 30 percent said they've earned less than a man doing comparable work, versus 21 percent of women with lower incomes. A recent article in CNN Money noted that the pay gap actually grows the higher up one goes in income: looking at the highest-paid executives, the top-earning man earned $244 million while the top-earning woman earned $41 million. The article noted that at lower income levels everyone, men and women, are in a bad spot financially. The gap grows as careers advance and women in higher positions are increasingly seen as exceptions to the rule. 

The Pew study also found differences across ethnicity, with 53 percent of employed black women saying they have experienced gender discrimination while 40 percent of white and Hispanic women said the same. In particular, black women are more likely to say they have been passed over for important assignments because of their gender, 22 percent, versus 8 percent of white women and 9 percent of Hispanic women. 

The study also found differences in terms of party affiliation. It showed that 48 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent women have reported at least some gender discrimination at work, versus 30 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning women.