Survey: Men and Women are “Basically Similar” in the Workplace

A new study from the Pew Research Center addressed American’s views on the differences between men and women, revealing that notions currently considered antiquated are very much alive today. Study respondents identified that men and women are difference in “the way they express their feelings, their physical abilities, their personal interests and their approach to parenting,” with women generally attributing these differences to societal expectations and men to biological differences.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • 37 percent say women and men are basically different in their strengths in the workplace, while 63 percent say they’re basically similar
  • 64 percent say women and men are basically different in their parenting approach, while 35 percent say they’re basically similar

Sources of Pressure

  • In supporting their family financially, 40 percent say women face a lot of pressure and 76 percent say men do
  • Regarding job and career success, 44 percent say women feel a lot of pressure and 68 percent say men do

What traits does society value?

  • For women, physical attractiveness (35 percent) and nurturing and empathy (30 percent) were the top responses for the traits society values most
  • For men, respondents predominantly answered honesty and morality (33 percent) and professional or financial success (23 percent)

The report, which delves into respondents’ rationales for their beliefs, the role of political stance, race and more, shows that while Americans have had success in eradicating misguided perceptions and stereotypes, a significant amount remain in our country’s consciousness. However, a bright light that cannot be ignored is the workplace, where the majority (63 percent) of study participants expressed that men and women are basically similar.


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