This election season has seen numerous charges of sexism regarding Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Sarah Palin, and a recent study shows that gender does indeed play a significant role in public perception of leadership ability.
The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, shows that while the public thinks that women are more honest, intelligent, compassionate, outgoing and creative than men, only six percent of people see women as better leaders. This compared with 21 percent of people who see men as better leaders and 69 percent of people who say men and women are equally adept at leading.
“The paradox embedded in these survey findings is part of a wider paradox in modern society on the subject of gender and leadership,” reads the study. “In an era when women have made sweeping strides in educational attainment and workforce participation, relatively few have made the journey all the way to the highest levels of political or corporate leadership.”
According to the study, the reasons for this continued disparity include sexism, the “old boys club,” and lack of experience.