Women work harder to get ahead
Complementing the discussion, the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, with the Policy Institute and IPSOS Mori, carried out a survey in 28 countries to reveal underlying public perceptions of ‘What helps or hinders women’s equality?’ in Britain and around the world.
Around 20,000 people were surveyed and the results showed that 26% of people think that intelligence is one of the most important factors helping women get ahead, compared with 17% who say the same for men.
The survey results also found that one in ten Britons say a woman’s looks are a key factor in helping them get ahead, while just 4% say the same for men. This finding was raised during the discussion with Secretary Clinton, who agreed and added that it’s not just looks in general, “it’s certain types of looks and a certain way to look, and the image that is expected of women that’s the problem.”
She said: “Men are allowed to come in all shapes and sizes, all forms of dress, all kinds of presentation. But, back in the day, so long ago it’s lost in the mists of memory, those of us who were in the professional world in the 70s and 80s, we had to figure out what our uniform was and we would wear skirt suits with white blouses and ribbons tied round our necks in bows.”
Both Ms Gillard and Secretary Clinton highlighted how they had experienced misogynistic behaviour during their careers and there are a number of female politicians who have recently claimed that they will not run in upcoming elections due to abuse they have received because of their gender. Secretary Clinton spoke of her sadness around the fact that women might not run in elections due to the threats that they face, saying, “it is not only a threat to individuals but a threat to our democracies.”