by Teresa Fausey

Are they up against the same sexist attitudes their mothers and grandmothers faced?

I’m really asking, because I don’t know the answer.

Here’s what I do know…

According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 51% of millennial women (18–32 years of age) believe that this is still largely a man’s world, a whopping 72% say we need to make more changes in the American workplace to achieve gender equality, and 60% believe that men are generally paid more for the same work.

So, are millennial women experiencing the same discrimination in the workplace their mothers and grandmothers did? Although only 15% of them said they had personally experienced gender discrimination, many more of them must be expecting it sometime soon.

Haven’t we made progress in this area?

Perhaps millennial women hold these beliefs because they’ve heard about the bad experiences of older friends and relatives, or seen stories in the media, and not because they’ve actually experienced gender discrimination. So, maybe it’s not as bad as they imagine. Maybe we have made great strides…

Of course, there are a couple of rather unsettling bits of information—from Pew Research and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). According to a 2012 Pew report, women between 25 and 34 years of age earned 93% of the hourly wage men earned. However, a study by the AAUW found that, starting at age 35, the wage gap becomes a veritable chasm, and for the rest of their careers, women earn 75–80% of the money men do on average. (A Pew study found the figure to be 84%—a little better.)

Although I hope millennial women will fare better than previous generations, it seems that they don’t expect to. Recent numbers tell us they may be right.