Are women forever to be the subordinate sex, or are they the face of the future? In this study of 12,168 men and women in 32 countries, Havas explores changing gender relations in society, in the workplace, and in the home. The study reveals a clear trend toward a less gender-conscious future—a time when a person’s sex will be of no more consequence than his or her height or hair color.
Gender is a hot-button issue right now—but will there come a time when an individual’s sex is regarded as no more important than his or her height, handedness, or hair color? A Havas Group survey of more than 12,000 people in 32 countries reveals that a non-gendered future may be in the cards.
The survey explores how far gender equality has come in an era when women in most parts of the world are able to do most things once considered the exclusive province of men.
Key findings include:
You don’t have to identify as a feminist to support women’s equality. Despite relatively few people claiming to be feminists, strong majorities of both sexes (84% of men and 91% of women) agree that men and women who do the same job should be paid the same. Moreover, both sexes were more likely to agree than disagree that the world would be a better place if more women were in positions of power.
Men no longer rule the roost. We are a long way from true gender equality in the workplace and political sphere but things have progressed more rapidly on the home front, where men not too long ago were automatically considered “head of household.” Only 30% of men and 26% of women believe male-female relationships work better when the man is the dominant partner.
Gender distinctions are fading. Remember when boys were made of “snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails” and girls were made of “sugar and spice and everything nice”? We may want to rethink that recipe. We gave our respondents a list of 25 important traits and attributes, and asked whether each one applies more to men, to women, or to the two sexes equally. Though there were some distinctions (both sexes agreed that men are more mechanical and women are more nurturing and sensitive), for the most part we saw a real overlap between the genders, with neither one considered more valuable to society, trustworthy, creative, or hardworking.
Many signs point to an agendered future. The very way we think about gender is changing. A majority of women and more than 4 in 10 men surveyed agreed: “I do not believe in set genders; gender is fluid, and everyone can be what they feel they are.” And there is a clear push toward raising children in a nongendered way.