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University of Phoenix Survey Finds 75 Percent of Americans Say Working Conditions for Women Have Improved; Progress in Leadership Roles and Equal Pay Stalled

By University of Phoenix

Only 33 percent of women say they make the same pay as male counterparts 

PHOENIX, March 6, 2017 – In recognition of International Women’s Day, University of Phoenix released its survey results from a recent poll revealing varying levels of progress for women in the workplace. The survey found the majority of respondents (75 percent) agreed that working conditions for women have improved in the past decade; however, women continue to lag behind when it came to top leadership roles and compensation. Only one in three female respondents said they make the same amount of money as men working the same or similar jobs at their company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in reality, women make, on average, 83 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts.

Additionally, there is progress to be made when it comes to female leadership in companies. While 79 percent of respondents have worked for a female boss, only 34 percent said they have worked for a company with a female president, owner or CEO. In fact, only 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO.

“Over the years, women have made incredible progress in many areas but there is still a great deal of work to be done when it comes to gender equality in the workplace,” said Constance St. Germain, Ed.D., J.D., executive dean of the Colleges of Humanities & Sciences, Social Sciences and Criminal Justice. “Companies with diverse executive teams perform better financially[3] and are more innovative.”

There remain disparities between men and women outside of the workplace as well. The survey found that 55 percent of female respondents said they are primarily responsible for activities related to their children, while 66 percent of female respondents stated they spend more time on household chores than their spouse.

“If we are to maintain the momentum, we must actively support the advancement of women into leadership roles and advocate for workplace policies that allow for the integration of both home and work life for both women and men. This includes maternity and paternity leave, flexible schedules, telecommuting policies and child care assistance,” Dr. St. Germain added. “Furthermore, women can help other women succeed by mentoring and supporting women in their organization or encouraging growth opportunities like stretch projects or continuing education.”

At University of Phoenix, most of the students are working adults over 30 years old who juggle work responsibilities and caring for dependents at home. This includes 66 percent of who are women and 67 percent of students who have dependents,5  which further emphasizes the need for flexible academic options and support services to help women and working parents achieve their career goals. Additionally, 57 percent of University of Phoenix faculty are women who have professional backgrounds in a variety of fields.

Visit to find full results from the gender equality study.

For background on University of Phoenix diversity initiatives, visit

For more information about University of Phoenix programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and more, visit


This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from Aug. 23-Sept. 3, 2016, among a national sample of 10,113 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage points. For complete survey methodology, please contact Angela Heisel.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

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