It’s 2018, and despite many claims that men and women are equal, sadly, the numbers still don’t add up. Women — especially women of color — still make significantly less during the course of their careers than men do. Women still face high rates of sexual harassment at work. And now, a new study from the New York Times has found that in some occupations, gender disparity is so bad that women are outnumbered by men named John.
Today, April 24th, the Times published a list of careers in which you’re more likely to have a colleague who’s named John than a colleague who’s a woman. The data came from an updated version of the paper’s Glass Ceiling Index — a catalog of all the women in positions of power across America first created in 2015. And the results were, frankly, a little shocking.
According to the report, Johns outnumber women among Democratic governors and Republican senators. When it comes to Fortune 500 CEOs, there are 25 women and 23 men named John, but men named James still outnumber women. We’ve even had five presidents named John, while zero have been women. But to be fair, Johns aren’t the only culprits. The Times points out that more Jameses and Michaels directed more of the top 100 films of 2017 than women. And together, Davids, Jameses, and Peters make up a greater share of venture capitalists than women do.
It’s also worth noting that women of color are represented even more poorly. There are currently only four women of color in the Senate. And according to CNN, the most recent black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company stepped down in 2016, meaning there are currently zero.
The bottom line is that workplace sexism is still a huge problem. Of course, the point of the Times report is not that men named John — or David or James or Peter — shouldn’t be hired. Rather, by demonstrating that a name possessed by a little more than three percent of the American population is still more common in leadership roles than women are, this analysis shows just how far we have to go when it comes to gender equality. We just hope that in the future, we’ll see a better ratio of women to Johns in leadership roles.