Nearly half of Americans don't foresee women's workplace equality in next decade

One century after women in the U.S. were guaranteed the right to vote, most adults still see a lack of equality between men and women in the U.S. workplace, and many do not see that improving for a decade or more, according to a new Gallup poll

Key findings from the poll: 

  • 69 percent of U.S. adults — 79 percent of women and 58 percent of men — say women still do not have equality in the workplace
  • 48 percent of U.S. adults say it will take 10 to 30 years or more to achieve gender equality in the workplace, while 8 percent do not think equality will ever be achieved 
  • 36 percent of respondents say the U.S. has made a lot of progress on women's rights since the 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920

The results suggest that Americans, and particularly women, see the 19th Amendment as the beginning of the road to equality, not the end.

"This may reflect frustration with the continued low levels of women filling leadership roles in business and government," Gallup said. "The #MeToo movement could be another factor in perceptions of women's inequality, with close to half of all women saying they have been the victim of sexual harassment."

Older women are more likely than younger women to believe significant progress has been made since the adoption of the 19th Amendment and to be more optimistic about how soon full equality might be achieved, according to the poll. Nonetheless, most women of all ages recognize the need for greater progress toward equality in the workplace.

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