This week in sad-but-true-statistics, a new survey found one in four Americans think society will achieve time travel—yes, time travel—before gender parity in the workplace, The Cut reports.
The mind-boggling stat comes from the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Women in Leadership: Tackling Corporate Culture From the Top” report. More than 1,000 adults were surveyed across the nation as part of the second annual survey, which is part of a larger campaign to get 100 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies by 2025. (Right now, only 6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, according to the foundation’s report, and as we wrote about recently, it’s pretty lonely for the few women who do make it to the top.)
There are many reasons why people think we’re so far away from equality, but most respondents cited lack of access to leadership opportunities as the main factor in why women struggle to make it to the top. Unsurprisingly, men also play a big role. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents—and 90 percent of women surveyed—thought the “attitudes of men in leadership positions,” as Lisa Ryan writes for The Cut. One small silver lining? The survey found that “the majority of adults believe women are just as qualified as men to lead businesses,” Ryan writes.
That very sentiment was explored in a recent New York Times article by Susan Chira and on Thrive Global in our Redefining Masculinity package, where we’ve explored the role that evolving gender norms play in the workplace and beyond. Chira interviewed women who either were in top leadership positions or almost got there and wrote that the push to get more women into top spots is moving at a “glacial pace,” despite the fact that data shows companies with more women leaders are more profitable.
It’s startling and sad to think so many Americans believe we’re more capable of achieving something that’s more or less scientifically impossible than achieving gender equality at work. The good news, though, is that these findings reveal how strongly people want gender equality in the workplace, and hopefully they can add some urgency to the issue.
Read more on The Cut.