Women In The Workplace: What Holds Them Back?

May 08, 2013, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 5/4/2013) Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, writes in her new book, Leaning In, that sometimes women’s attitudes - and lack of credit taking - hold them back at work. Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll aren’t sure. 57% of men – and 74% of women – continue to see discrimination against women in employment today.

Women between the ages of 30 and 64, the prime employment years, are the most likely to believe there is a lot of discrimination.

As for some of the other possible reasons women have not advanced as far in the workplace as they might have, Americans see some value in multiple explanations. More than seven in ten think women not putting themselves forward as much as men do, women less likely to choose high-paying careers, women not being taken seriously in the workplace after they have children, and assertive women being treated negatively all as at least minor factors in women being less successful than they might be. But less than a majority thinks each is a major factor.

Women are more likely to support all of these potential explanations for women’s lack of success in the workplace, but only about a third of women look on each as a major factor.