Research Reveals Half of Americans Want to Work for a Female Leader

Study from Berlin Cameron, The Harris Poll and The Female Quotient Serves as a Rallying Cry for Change in the American Workplace

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Berlin Cameron and its new division Girl Brands Do It Better, The Harris Poll and The Female Quotient released a study today that reveals that women, and more surprisingly, a growing chorus of men, are challenging the corporate cultures that manifest the systems of power from Silicon Valley to Madison Ave to Capitol Hill to Hollywood.

The study, conducted online by The Harris Poll reveals that half of Americans would prefer to work for a female-led company over a male-led company, including 46% of men. It also found that 71% of both men and women feel that having a woman in a leadership position makes them believe that they too can achieve a leadership position.

“Our research shows that both women and men want to work at organizations where values like compassion, collaboration, and the freedom to be yourself are the norm,” said Jennifer DaSilva, President of Berlin Cameron and Founder of Girl Brands Do It Better. “In 2018, I challenge business leaders to put these values to the test and notice how this impacts relationships with colleagues and leads to stronger results.”

Predatory behavior, a lack of female leadership, and a torrent of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior by recognized male leaders are being called out like never before, as evidenced by Time’s Up taking center stage at the Golden Globes, #MeToo being named as part of TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, and executives calling out the Consumer Electronics Show for not having a single female keynote speaker. This research solidifies the cultural appetite for change that both women and men are asking for in the American workplace in 2018.

 “The rules were written more than 100 years ago for and by men, and are no longer working in today's modern workplace,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient. “This research shows that more than half of Americans prefer to work with female-led companies, illustrating that leadership norms are changing to help create cultures of care."

John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll added: “Beyond their cultural moments, it’s quite possible #MeToo and Time’s Up could be the catalyst to lasting change in the workplace. In our survey, the majority of women and men said that female-led companies tend to be more purpose driven, more desirable places to work, and even women leaders can reverse toxic corporate cultures.”

Other key trends in the report include:

  • Half of Americans would prefer to work for a female-led company (50%). Majorities say they’re more purpose driven (56%), more likely to include access to childcare (78%), and are more likely to offer equal pay (75%).
  • Half of U.S. adults (52%) say companies need to be the first line of defense against workplace harassment and assault, and almost half of Americans (49%) say male business leaders have a responsibility to speak out, with 39% agreeing that male-led businesses could be doing more to speak out.
  • Almost a quarter of adults (24%) say women are starting their own businesses to create the work culture they can’t find at male-led companies.
  • Vast majorities (92%) of adults say changes need to be made to eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The most important changes falling on more proactive and responsive HR (57%), rethinking how gender norms are taught to children (45%), better sexual harassment training (44%) and male-led businesses taking a stance (38%).
  • When thinking about the most important part of employment, Millennials stuck out from the rest of the population with their values and are leading the charge in setting new demands for the future of work. Important aspects of employment include challenging themselves (52% millennials; 40% gen pop), having a compassionate supervisor (53%; 40% gen pop), freedom to be themselves (48%; 39% gen pop) and collaborative work environments (38%; 32% gen pop).
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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 1 and 5, 2017 among 2,066 adults aged 18+.  Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.  Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Berlin Cameron
New York-based Berlin Cameron is a strategic and creative lead agency that is well known for accelerating the growth of iconic and challenger brands by building their cultural relevance. Owned by WPP, Berlin Cameron has the agility of a small boutique agency with access to the global scale of the much larger WPP. The agency recently launched its Girl Brands Do It Better division to empower female entrepreneurs through connections and creativity by investing in these companies and telling brand stories. For more on Girl Brands Do It Better, visit For more on Berlin Cameron, visit and TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit and connect with The Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Female Quotient
The Female Quotient is in the business of equality. The company is committed to advancing diversity in the workplace through collaboration, activating solutions for change and creating measurements for accountability. Gender equality is not only a social issue, it is an economic imperative. When you put women in any equation, the equation gets better. For more, visit and TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Courtney Meola


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