Pew Research has just released a study “Strong Men, Caring Women”, regarding what Americans value (and don’t) in each gender. The results, while not terribly surprising, have significance in the workplace. If we are not aware of these predispositions, what careers we consider for ourselves and who gets considered for which job will be affected by bias. And, how individuals present themselves in interviews may need to be fine-tuned.
Some of their findings:
- While there was no consensus on society’s expectations for men and women some clear patterns emerged.
- Americans were much more likely to use “powerful” in a positive way to describe men and in a negative way towards women.
- “Honest” was used much more often as a positive value regarding men than women.
- “Leadership” and “ambition” were seen as traits that society values more in men than women.
- “Aggressiveness” was seen as more negative in women than men.
- “Kind” and” responsible” were seen as positive for both, but more consistently used towards women than men.
- “Compassionate” and” caring” were considered positive traits for women but more negatively for men.