When it comes to success, equality for men and women is still a long way off
When it comes to success, equality for men and women is still a long way off

Men less likely than women to need intelligence and hard work for success, says new research

Looks still ranked as more important for women's success compared with men

Joanna Whitehead
Tuesday 12 November 2019 17:30
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Men are less likely than women to need intelligence and hard work to get ahead, say the public.

New research published on Wednesday by the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Ipsos MORI and the Policy Institute surveyed around 20,000 people from 28 countries in an effort to understand public perceptions of what helps or hinders women’s equality in the UK and around the world.

When asked to select one of 14 possible options for the key factors that help women get ahead, people in the UK, US and Australia all cited intelligence as significantly more important for women than men.

In the UK, 26 per cent of those polled said intelligence was the most important factor in helping women progress, dropping to just 17 per cent for men.

Similarly, 37 per cent of UK respondents said working hard was essential for women’s success, compared with just 29 per cent for men.

The findings also reveal that looks continue to be ranked as much more important for women to thrive compared with men, with one in 10 (11 per cent) Brits citing a woman’s appearance as significant, while just four per cent say the same about men.

Most of the blame for the gap in equality between women and men is assigned to employers who UK respondents said are not doing enough to close the gender pay gap (27 per cent).

A lack of employer support for women balancing work and caring responsibilities was cited by 22 per cent of respondents, while a further 21 per cent blamed employers for failing to promote women to senior positions.

Unfair media portrayals of women were also referenced as a major cause of inequality between the sexes (16 per cent of UK respondents, compared with the global average of nine per cent), along with a lack of women in positions of political power (15 per cent).

Around the globe, men (18 per cent) are twice as likely as women (nine per cent) to claim that gender equality has been achieved in their country.

Women (15 per cent) are twice as likely as men (seven per cent) to have their looks cited as instrumental to their success - this figure rises to over a third in Russia (35 per cent).

Turkey (32 per cent), Brazil (29 per cent), Spain (25 per cent), South Africa (25 per cent), Hungary (25 per cent) and Peru (25 per cent) were the countries most likely to blame their governments for not doing enough to promote gender equality, while a lack of education for men and boys around gender equality was cited as the problem in Mexico (38 per cent), Argentina (34 per cent), Peru (39 per cent) and Chile (34 per cent).

The research has been conducted to coincide with the launch of King’s College World Questions event series, which aims to investigate the obstacles and aids to women’s equality around the world.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Julia Gillard will be in conversation on 13 November for the inaugural event at London’s King’s College.

Further details about the report can be found here.

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