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Survey shows women are equally qualified for top jobs, but barriers persist

(Xinhua)    10:25, March 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, March 28  -- The majority of Americans see women as equally capable of being a qualified political or business leader as men, and attribute fewer women at top positions in government and business to a double standard held against them in U.S. society, a recent survey suggested.

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, most Americans do not distinguish between men and women when it comes to characteristics that apply to political and business leadership. Among those who do draw distinctions, women are perceived to have advantages over men in key areas.

One key area where women do better than men is the ability to work out political compromises. While 55 percent of Americans see there is no difference between two genders, 34 percent think women are better than their male counterparts.

Women politicians are also perceived to have an edge over men in other key areas, such as being honest and ethical, with 34 percent saying women are better at this while only 3 percent saying men are better at it.

As in the political realm, the majority of Americans do not see major differences between men and women on business leadership traits. For those who say there is difference, women also have a clear advantage over men in key areas except for the tendency to take risks and ability to negotiate profitable deals.

As to the reasons why women are held back from top jobs in government and business, the conventional wisdom of women being less tough and being distracted by family chores do not top the list.

Instead, about four-in-ten Americans say a double standard imposed on women prevents women from climbing to the highest levels in either politics or business, where women have to do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves. In addition, similar percentage of Americans think the nation is simply not ready to either hire or elect women leaders.

The findings were based on a recent survey conducted online by Pew Research Center among 1,835 randomly chosen adults.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Du Mingming,Bianji)

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