Societal changes drive public policy.  These shifts include an aging population; the growth of high tech and service sector jobs; evolving views on race, ethnicity, and immigration; and changes in family structure.  Pew studies these attitudes and trends and their impact through the use of original public opinion survey research, along with social, economic, and demographic data analysis.  Pew’s work includes a major study of the millennial generation and the distinct path it is forging toward adulthood, with fewer ties to traditional religious and political institutions and more use of social media to build personal networks.

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Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

  • The Data on Women Leaders

    • January 14, 2015

    Most Americans find women indistinguishable from men on key leadership traits, yet women still make up a small share of top leadership jobs. Explore the share of women in top U.S. political and business roles over time with these interactive charts. Read More

  • Appendix A: Survey Methodology

    • January 14, 2015

    The analysis in this report is based mostly on a survey conducted November 12-21, 2014 among a sample of 1,835 adults (921 women and 914 men) 18 years of age or older. The survey was conducted by the GfK Group using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel. KnowledgePanel members are recruited through probability sampling […] Read More

  • Chapter 3: Obstacles to Female Leadership

    • January 14, 2015

    Americans widely believe that men have a better shot at leadership positions in business and politics, even as majorities say that men and women make equally good leaders. There is little consensus, however, on why women remain underrepresented in these fields. About four-in-ten believe higher standards for women and lack of readiness by companies to […] Read More

  • Chapter 2: What Makes a Good Leader, and Does Gender Matter?

    • January 14, 2015

    Whether they are heading a major corporation or serving in elected office, leaders bring a combination of traits to the table. In the public’s estimation, some traits are clearly more important than others. Honesty, intelligence and decisiveness are considered “absolutely essential” leadership qualities by at least eight-in-ten adults. Roughly two-thirds of adults (67%) say that […] Read More

  • Chapter 1: Women in Leadership

    • January 14, 2015

    A total of 299 women have served as U.S. representatives or senators since 1917, when Jeannette Rankin of Montana was elected as the first woman to serve in Congress.7 And this month, a record 104 women were sworn in as members of the 114th Congress. Yet, while the share of women serving in Congress has […] Read More