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Study: Over half of Utah women think they have lower status than men in workplace

Workplace sexual harassment preventionUtah continues to be a tough place for women. Over half of Utah women think they have a lower status in the workplace than men, according to a new survey.

The poll found that 53.75 percent of respondents said they definitely or probably believe women in Utah have an overall lower workplace status than men.

That was a higher rate than some observers expected despite other recent surveys ranking Utah low on women’s equality.

In early November, the Salt Lake Tribune and Suffolk University surveyed 400 women, ages 18 and older, across Utah through a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. The poll was done by contacting people on cellphones and landlines.

Respondents in the survey cited low wages and cultural expectations about gender roles as their biggest challenges.

The citing of low wages and unfair cultural expectations as
Utah women’s largest obstacles were consistent across all income levels, ages, political viewpoints, educational levels, and religions.

Do Utah women have a lower status than men?

In response to the question — “Overall, do you believe women in Utah have a lower status than men?” — the survey found:

  • 36% said definitely lower
  • 17.75% said probably lower
  • 7.75% said maybe lower
  • 13% said probably not lower
  • 24% said definitely not lower.

Nearly 28 percent of women in the survey said the biggest obstacle for Utah women was low wages.

Over 27 percent of women in the survey said the biggest obstacle for women in Utah was cultural expectations about gender roles.

Younger women were more likely to choose gender expectations as the problem. Older women sided more often with low wages.

The survey also had 18.25 percent citing domestic violence and sexual assault as their biggest obstacle and 7.5 percent citing low access to child care.

Talk confidentially to a Salt Lake City attorney you can trust

A woman interviewed in The Salt Lake Tribune story said she feels that almost every woman has a story about sexual harassment at work. She said women fear repercussions for bringing it up.

Some women polled said they have never felt less valued than their male counterparts. Others said they felt that gender equality is better today than it was years ago in Utah.

Utah has a population of about 3.2 million. Nearly 62 percent belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. In the survey, very active and somewhat active Mormons were more likely to say women definitely did not have a lower status.

On the plus side, Utah is one of only six states in the United States that have established laws that let political candidates use the money raised for election campaigns to pay for child care expenses. Child care costs remain a hurdle for many women who are running for office or considering a campaign, according to U.S. News & World Report.

If you were treated unfairly in the workplace, contact Andrus Law Firm in Utah today. We offer free consultations.

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