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Americans say women still treated unfairly at work

Monday, August 16, 2010  
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More than six in 10 Americans think the United States still has a long way to go to reach complete gender equality, with more women (74 percent) than men (52 percent) believing this, according to a recent Harris Poll.

Even more Americans -- seven in 10 -- say women often do not receive the same pay as men for doing exactly the same job, though more women (80 percent) than men (58 percent) believe that, according to a June 2010 online survey of 2,227 adults.

Similarly, 62 percent of U.S. adults say women are often discriminated against in being promoted for supervisory and executive jobs. Again, while two-thirds of women believe they are discriminated against, less than half of the men polled (48 percent) agree with them.

Half of those surveyed say women often receive lower pensions or pay more on annuities than men doing the same work; 23 percent disagree with this and 27 percent are not sure.

"Many things have changed for women in this country,” according to the Harris Poll. "And some may argue things are better, but there is still the undercurrent that there are issues, especially when it comes to pay and employment, where things have not yet approached an equal footing with men. Women are sitting in more boardrooms and at the helms of more companies today, but there is a sense they are not yet getting paid the same as men in those positions.”

Other findings: Four in five Americans (81 percent) -- both men and women equally -- say women today are treated with less chivalry than in the past. More than half of those polled think most employers are willing to make the conditions of work flexible enough to help women with families who want to work stay on the job. Still, while 60 percent of men believed this, only half of the women polled did.

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