International Women's Day: Global misperceptions of equality and the need to Press for Progress

To mark International Women’s Day, and in the wake of the #metoo campaign, a new global study by Ipsos in collaboration with International Women’s Day across 27 countries highlights the level of concern people around the world have about a number of equality issues.

International Women's Day: Global misperceptions of equality and the need to Press for Progress

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Ipsos Public Affairs
Get in touch

IWD 2018

To mark International Women’s Day, and in the wake of the #MeToo campaign, a new global study by Ipsos in collaboration with International Women’s Day across 27 countries highlights the level of concern people around the world have about a number of equality issues. 

Across the globe:

  • Sexual harassment is seen as the biggest equality issue facing women around the world - but half feel that reports of sexual harassment are still ignored.
  • People across the world have many misperceptions about equality: we underestimate women’s experience of sexual harassment, and are wildly optimistic about when pay and economic equality will be achieved.

In the United States, the findings show:

  • Much like the rest of the world, Americans agree that sexual harassment (36%) is the biggest issue facing women and girls today. Sexual violence and equal pay come in as the second biggest concerns with 28% agreeing that these are among the most important issues for women.
  • American people were relatively accurate when asked to estimate how many of every 100 women have experienced sexual harassment in their adult lives: 60% of women in the United States say they have experienced sexual harassment in their adult lives, yet the average guess among Americans is that 57% of women have. However, men tended to greatly underestimate the prevalence (49%).
  • Half of all respondents in the study still think that reports of sexual harassment are ignored – though in the US this falls to 38%. Three in four Americans (78%) support a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment.
  • Americans hugely overestimate the pace of change on pay and economic equality. In the US, people think economic equality will be achieved within 50 years by 2068, however, it has been estimated that economic equality will take 167 years longer (2117). Americans estimate equal pay will be achieved in their country in 2028, however, the predicted year is 2059 – 31 years later.
  • Americans also overestimate women’s representation in business leadership, believing that 18% of CEOs in the largest 500 companies around the world are women, when representation is actually one-sixth of the estimate (3%).
  • Seven of ten Americans (70%) say that achieving equality among genders is important to them. When asked if things would work better if more women held positions with responsibilities in government and companies, 61% of Americans agreed.
  • Close to half of all participants in the study think things have gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights (45%).  Americans, however, are not so complacent – with only 35% saying things have gone far enough, and 53% disagreeing.

For more information on this report, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
chris.jackson@ipsos.com

Mallory Newall
Director, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
mallory.newall@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Ipsos Public Affairs

Society