Home    Insight    Insight

Study reveals workplace skills of women seen as equal to men

Study reveals workplace skills of women seen as equal to men

 August 19, 2019

 Read time

Each day, we continue to fight the good fight so it is good news that a recent breakthrough study by The American Psychological Association has revealed mindsets are changing and progressing. Research has indicated that many people view women as equally competent, if not more competent, than men in the workplace.

Change perceptions for the better

The American Psychological Association study analyzed 30,000 people’s views of women in the workplace from 1946 until 2018. Intelligence, organization and creativity were all included as signs of competence. 

The results revealed that in 1946, only one third of people believed men and women were equally intelligent. In 1995, 43 per cent believed in equal competence between genders. In 2018, 86 per cent of those surveyed perceived men and women as equally intelligent - and the people who disagreed were thankfully those who ranked women as being more intelligent than men, not less.

Eliminating stereotypes of women at work

The results from the American Psychological Association study suggest that the increase of women in traditionally male roles, and the elimination of stereotypes, are helping to change perceptions about women.

"Challenging traditional claims that stereotypes of women and men are fixed or rigid, our study joins others in finding stereotypes to be flexible to changes in social roles," commented Alice Eagly, PhD, of Northwestern University and lead author on the study. "As the roles of women and men have changed since the mid-20th century, so have beliefs about their attributes."

"These current stereotypes should favor women's employment because competence is, of course, a job requirement for virtually all positions."

Read the full American Psychological Association study here.

Work for a company that promotes gender equality

At Where Women Work, we shine a spotlight on Prime Employers who perceive and treat all women in their companies as equally competent to men.

Search and apply for jobs today.

Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community