• Wed, Aug 21 - 6:45 pm ET

The Most And Least Encouraging Parts Of Elle‘s Big Career Survey

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Earlier this week, Elle Magazine released its 2013 Power Survey, a collection of career-related statistics collected with the help of the Center for American Progress. For this report, Elle and the CAP polled a large number of respondents on questions relating to work, parenting, discrimination, and more, with a particular focus on women’s issues. The findings ranged from vaguely encouraging to downright depressing; here are the ones that stood out most to me.

Encouraging:

51% of women say they speak up “all the time” or “frequently” in meetings. This wasn’t too far behind the statistic for men, which was 58%.

Discouraging:

53% of women have never asked for a raise, compared to 40% of men. This gap seems significant. Awesomely enough, Elle recommends breaking the societal (and sometimes employer mandated) taboo of talking about money to figure out if your male co-workers are making more than you. Lilly Ledbetter would be proud.

Encouraging:

87% of women, 80% of men, 89% of democrats and a whopping 83% of republicans support government-mandated paid maternity leave. Elle also included a nice, depressing chart to show how few countries in the world still don’t have it. (Spoiler alert: the US is the only country in the developed that doesn’t.)

Discouraging:

Only 52% of people polled said they’d take flex time (more flexible hours, working from home, etc.) if an employer offered it, but 86% of the people who’d actually been given the option opted for it. This speaks to me of a kind of coping mechanism. “I can’t have a better quality of life? Well, I didn’t want it anyway!”

Encouraging?:

Only 29% of women said “the country has made most of the changes needed to give women equal rights as men.” At least we have a somewhat clear view of the problem?

Discouraging:

The majority of men do think that we have made all the changes necessary to achieve perfect equality. Ha! Ha!

Discouraging:

About a third of both women and men think women don’t occupy top jobs in business “because they’re not tough enough to lead.” Excuse me?

Encouraging:

On the upside, the more rational reasons of “they’re discriminated against” and “family takes too much of their time” were slightly more popular explanations given…at least by women. (Men were much less likely to acknowledge sex discrimination, with 33% to women’s 55%.)

Discouraging:

61% of both mothers and fathers say their employers don’t make it easy to balance parenting with work. Sadface.

Discouraging:

Only 20% of men and 31% of women recognize that the gender wage gap is a real thing. LOL WUT?

Encouraging or Discouraging, depending how you look at it:

48% of mothers and 45% of fathers say they wouldn’t work outside the home if they didn’t have to. And this is even with all that Stockholm Syndrome that comes from working in a poorly regulated labor market in a country where “bootstrapping” mythology runs deep. Why, it’s almost like half of America is feeling alienated by the wage system! Someone should tell Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s Elle‘s editor-in-chief Robbie Meyers discussing the findings on The Today Show:

(Via The Cut)

Photo: Shutterstock

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