Illustration: Ashley Siebels
The gap between the way men and women are treated and paid at work is one that social science researchers, think tanks and advocacy organizations have been talking about for a long time.
Yet, despite this data, a startling new poll found that most men don’t see this gap. For them, the gender gap is an issue of the past.
Majority of men believe “all obstacles to gender equality are gone”
According to a new SurveyMonkey poll, 58% of U.S. men in the workforce believed that “all obstacles to gender equality are gone.” SurveyMonkey interviewed over 13,000 workers ages 18 and up, and of those thousands surveyed, only 38% of the men surveyed believed some barriers remained in place.
So, mission accomplished? We have fully leaned in?
Not so fast, women respondents said. Their answers were reversed. Only 36% of women believed that all obstacles to gender equality had been eliminated while the majority of them—60%—believed that obstacles still exist.
The gap in perception only got wider for workers in the tech industry. 61% of male tech workers believed that all obstacles to gender equality were gone while only 30% of female tech workers believed the same.
From these results, it appears that these workers are existing in different universes. Female tech workers exist in one where their code will receive more scrutiny than their male peers. If they work at Uber, they exist in a world where sexual harassment by male bosses has a history of being ignored if the employee is a “high performer.” These women are existing in male-dominated fields where only 6% of venture-capital startups are owned by women and companies like Google are being investigated by the government for their “extreme” gender pay gap.
Other evidence that suggests the gender gap is mathematically backed: On average, women earn 79 cents to every man’s dollar. In salary negotiations, women who refused to disclose what they made previously got lower offers than men. After college, multiple studies have found that millennial women will make less money and achieve slower career progress than their male peers despite equal qualifications. Even at the highest levels of power, women get interrupted three times as often as men. Studies have even shown that women’s competence at work is judged by men based on the color of their hair.
Although these tech workers work in the same industry, the poll’s findings make it seem as if they work in parallel universes. It remains to be seen whether these two wildly different perceptions will ever converge.