A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey reveals some disconcerting, if not terribly surprising, facts about how women feel and are treated in the workplace—things that many people already know, and many have worked to change. Yet, still, "women in large numbers believe they face disadvantages in the workplace, including lower pay than men and other forms of discrimination—opinions that haven't budged during a period when public opinion has shifted markedly on many other social issues," Colleen McCain Nelson writes.
It's strange, isn't it? Or isn't it. The gender wage gap, gender discrimination, and that omnipresent question of having it all: These were three big topics this survey of 1,000 adults, conducted April 5-8 by the polling organizations of Bill McInturff at Public Opinion Strategies and Fred Yang at Hart Research, addressed. A survey can only be a survey, but these are topics we've been talking about for years. There's been a spate of recent conversation brought on by Sheryl Sandberg's book and "Lean in" philosophy, but these conversations existed well before that, and well before Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic article about having it all, too. The basic kernel of the discussion is equality, though the trappings surrounding it evolve according to the time. The simple fact that we keep having these conversations means we're not there yet; take a look at the numbers of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, or the numbers of women in Congress, or the list of female writers published by national magazines.