Kathryn Lindsay
June 16, 2016 11:29 am

For a moment, we thought that the days of sexism were behind us. Well, maybe not entirely behind us, but that we were living a generation that truly saw men and women as equals. Unfortunately, the Harvard Business Review reports that sexist beliefs are actually as alive as ever, with millennial men in the U.S. still exhibiting a bias against women.

“Do millennials really believe there are no inherently male or female roles in society? Do millennial men really ‘see women as equals’?” HBR asked. “Unfortunately, the best information we have indicates the answer to both questions is no.”


Womp, womp. The article refers to a study published in February 2016 conducted by the National Institutes of Health, which focused on how college biology students viewed their classmates. It found, overwhelmingly, that the male students overestimated the knowledge of men in the class versus that of women. It also found that even as the semester went on, and female classmates proved their worth, going as far as to get better grades than the male students, these biases were still intact.

Unfortunately, this kind of bias is found in many different contexts involving millennial men. The 2014 Harris Poll found that young men were less open to women leaders than the older generation. While only 41% of millennial men felt comfortable with female engineers, the number for men 65 or older was 65%. This disparity was similar when it came to female senators, CEOs, and presidents. Additionally, in 2013, a Pew survey found that, while young women believed the country needed to continue making changes, young men were the most likely to say things were fine as-is.

So, this doesn’t bode well. While so many great things are happening for women, we still have a long way to go if we want to eliminate unconscious biases.