Men and women equally qualifiedLast month I welcomed my first granddaughter into a world where everyone is talking about gender equity, gender balance, and – my personal focus – Gender Partnership. This wasn’t the case even two years ago when my team started tracking each time these terms popped up in blogs, online articles, magazines, and newspapers.

Then it was a trickle.

Now it’s a mighty river whose sheer size and velocity is generating enough energy to actually change our culture – and eventually, I expect, our corporate cultures.

A new survey by the widely respected Pew Foundation reveals that the vast majority of the public think women are just as qualified as men to be good business leaders. It also shows us that the public is a lot more enlightened than most businesses, even the Fortune 500s.

I am going to show you some of the results of this survey using several charts from the Pew Foundation. There’s a lot of data to take in, but the charts make that easy. As you look at these results, bear in mind that what you are seeing is what people THINK about women and leadership. It is not the same thing as what people inside corporation are DOING. Those decision-makers are still regrettably slow to hire, promote, or appoint women to top leadership positions.


Pew-comparision of competencies headlineComparison of men's and women's competencies

Which leadership traits matter most?

Doubts about women achieving equality

What's holding women back from top jobs?

Here’s more detail on those responses:

Why aren't more women in top executive positions?

Women more likely to see gender discrimination

If you want more detail on about these results, go directly to the Pew Foundation site instead of looking for a blog or article online. Those things are written by people with their own… filters, shall we say. In fact, the Los Angeles Times actually began its article on the survey by saying “the public isn’t sure [women] are ready to challenge the male domination of the corporate boardrooms.”

What the survey actually showed was that 43% of those surveyed said they believe that men will continue to hold more executive positions in businesses than women. Which has nothing to do with women not being ready. BELIEVE ME, WOMEN ARE READY!

(By the way, the Inc. website got it right in their coverage. Thank you, Jill Krasny.)