About four-in-ten working women in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender. They report a broad array of personal experiences, ranging from earning less than male counterparts for doing the same job to being passed over for important assignments, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data. 

The survey – conducted in the summer before a recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men in politics, the media and other industries – found that, among employed adults, women are about twice as likely as men (42% versus 22%) to say they have experienced at least one of eight specific forms of gender discrimination at work. 

For example, one-in-four working women (25%) say they have earned less than a man who was doing the same job; one-in-twenty working men (5%) say they have earned less than a female peer. Women are roughly four times as likely as men to say they have been treated as if they were not competent because of their gender (23% of employed women versus 6% of men), and they are about three times as likely as men to say they have experienced repeated small slights at work because of their gender (16% versus 5%). 

Among the other findings:
  • Sexual harassment: While similar shares of women and men say sexual harassment is at least a small problem in their workplace (36% versus 35%), women are about three times as likely as men to have experienced it personally while at work (22% versus 7%).
  • Education: The share of working women with a postgraduate degree who say they have experienced some form of gender discrimination at work (57%) is higher than it is among women with a bachelor’s degree (40%) and those who did not complete college (39%).
  • Race and ethnicity: Roughly half of employed black women (53%) say they have experienced at least one type of gender discrimination at work; fewer white and Hispanic women say the same (40% for each group).
The nationally representative survey of 4,914 adults (including 4,702 who are employed at least part time) was conducted July 11-Aug. 10, 2017, using the GfK Group’s KnowledgePanel. The margin of sampling error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. 

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