Presents summary findings of the 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll, the sixth in a series of national surveys analyzing women's attitudes and opinions (past polls: 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, and 1985). Conducted by the Roper Organization Inc., surveys a national cross-section of 3,000 women and 1,000 men regarding attitudes toward women's changing status in society, careers, marriage and family. Provides original survey, as well as press releases arround groups of potentially interesting findings.
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Cohn & Wolfe
Cohn & Wolfe
WHAT: The 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll is the sixth in
a series of national surveys analyzing women's
attitudes and opinions and is conducted by Virginia
THE 1990 VIRGINIA SLIMS OPINION POLL
Past Polls were conducted in 1985, 1980, 1974, 1972
and 1970, thus providing a basis for analyzing major
trends over the years.
Now in its 20th anniversary year, the Virginia Slims
Opinion Poll was the first comprehensive poll on
women's issues ever conducted and is now the most
definitive source of information on the history of
women's opinions and their changing role in society.
WHO: The Roper Organization Inc. of New York City
conducted.the 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll,
surveying a national cross-section of 3,000 women and
1,000 men. The Roper Organization has been
conducting the Poll since 1974.
In 1970, Virginia Slims commissioned Louis Harris
and Associates to do the first survey of women's
opinions about public affairs and women's role in
HOW: Respondents were interviewed in person and asked 92
questions regarding attitudes toward women's changing
status in society, careers, marriage and family.
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FORMAT: The 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll is published in
* A major comprehensive analysis, supported by
charts, tables and graphs.
* An easy to read booklet that outlines the Poll's
The Poll is organized into six chapters:
* How Far Have We Come? How Far Do We Have To Go?
* A Personal Perspective On Life
* Between Women and Men: Relationships in the 90's
* Women in the Workplace
* Worker, Mother, Wife
* Women and Leadership
SPOKESPEOPLE: Marlene Sanders
Network television anchor, correspondent and producer
Burns W. Roper
Chairman, The Roper Organization Inc.
Vice President of Marketing Services,
Philip Morris U.S.A.
Representatives of Virginia Slims and The Roper
Organization will also be available to discuss the
Poll findings and trends that have been recorded over
the past 20 years.
# # #
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~ THE 1990
~ ~ VIRGINIA SLIMS
Tf---r OPINION POLL Contact r Laurie Pearlstein
Cohn & Wolfe
~ _ (212) 598-3657
Cohn & Wolfe
1990 VIRGINIA SLIMS OPINION POLL FINDINGS ANNOUNCED
Women Cite Career Advancements And Satisfaction In Homelife;
However Many Still Express Dissatisfaction
April 25, 1990 (NEW YORK, NY) -- The results of the 1990 Virginia
Slims Opinion Poll, the most comprehensive women's opinion poll
in the nation, were announced today at the Pierre Hotel in New
York City. The findings revealed that while women have made
breakthrough strides in the workplace their greatest source of
satisfaction still comes from their homelife.
"Twenty years ago, when the women's movement was beginning to
gain momentum, we conducted the first Virginia Slims Opinion Poll
to find out about women's perceptions of their role in society
and how that role was changing," said Ellen Merlo, vice president
of marketing services, Philip Morris U.S.A. "Over the years, we
have repeated the Poll at intervals which correspond with
changing events in society. Now in 1990, as the 20th century
comes to a close, we are proud to again present the findings of
the 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll."
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The 1990 Poll is the sixth in a series of national surveys
conducted by Virginia Slims. Together with similar Polls taken
in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980 and 1985, the study measures the major
trends in women's attitudes, beliefs and behavior over the past
"The 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll provides a realistic
blueprint of what needs to be done. Now we have to make it
happen," said Marlene Sanders, nationally acclaimed newswoman
and spokeswoman for the Poll.
"What is particularly interesting is to see how many of the
opinions that were controversial in the early 1970s are held by
the majority today," said Burns W. Roper, chairman of The Roper
Organization. "As time passes, the agenda of women's concerns,
of course, changes. What emerges from the 1990 Virginia Slims
Opinion Poll is that women today are looking for changes and are
Are Women Advancing In The Workplace?
The 1990 Virginia Slims Opinion Poll findings indicate that it is
in the workplace that women report the greatest improvement over
the past two decades and also the greatest need for improvement
in the years ahead.
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Poll findings confirm that there is indeed a perceived "glass
ceiling." Women believe that they are not offered equal access
to leadership positions. In particular, they cite the need to
gain opportunities in government and broader access to jobs
traditionally held by men.
The Poll also shows that money is a growing concern for women,
and it is the number one issue on their agenda of workplace
dissatisfaction. Fifty percent of women believe that over the
next 10 years major changes are needed to bring women's salaries
to comparable levels as men.
Is Combining Work and Family Manageable?
Marriage and family remain the center of most Americans' lives.
More than 9 in 10 women are married or plan to. According to the
1990 Poll results, love, sexual fidelity and the ability to
communicate feelings remain the cornerstone of a good marriage.
The 1990 Poll also finds that while the family is the greatest
source of satisfaction for women, there are still strong currents
of discontent with homelife. Women are more likely to say that
dealing with marriage and motherhood has gotten worse over the
last 20 years which is probably the result of juggling work and
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"As women contribute more to the family income, they expect in
return a more equitable division of household responsibilities.
Token help with the dishes or the children no longer inspires
their gratitude," said Roper.
In fact, the 1990 Poll finds that women now hold a less
flattering view of men than they did 20 years ago. In 1970,
two-thirds of women believed that men are basically
and thoughtful. In 1990, barely half would agree.
Do Women Have Higher Status In Society?
The 1990 Virginia Slims Poll findings indicate that efforts to
improve women's status are now part of the political and social
mainstream. In 1970, only 40 percent of women favored efforts to
improve women's status, while 42 percent were opposed. Today, 77
percent of women favor these efforts and only 12 percent oppose
Three-quarters of women believe that their roles should and will
continue to change in the 1990's. More than half of the women
polled say that changes will occur as a matter of course while 37
percent see the need for a more active effort to affect the
needed changes. Women's perceptions of the need for an organized
women's movement increases with rising levels of income,
education and employment status.
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The Roper Organization Inc. of New York City conducted the 1990
Virginia Slims Opinion Poll surveying the opinions of a national
cross-section of 3,000 women and 1,000 men. Respondents were
interviewed in person and asked 92 questions regarding attitudes
toward women's changing status in society, careers, marriage and
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THE 1990 RFLFASE
OPINfON POLL Contact. Laurie Pearlstein
Cohn & Wolfe
Cohn & Wolfe
1990 VIRGINIA SLIMS OPINION POLL FINDS WOMEN STRUGGLING WITH
BALANCING FAMILY AND CAREERS
Reject "Mommy Track;"
Cite More Help From Spouse To Relieve Stress
April 25, 1990 (NEW YORK, NY) -- For the first time since 1974,
women's prF,ference for a lifestyle that combines marriage, family
and career has declined according to the 1990 Virginia Slims
Opinion Poll. The Poll also reveals that women reject the
concept of "Mommy track", would like more help from their
spouses, and feel they should put less pressure on themselves
Since the mid-1970's, a majority of women indicated that ideally
they wanted to combine work and personal lives. However, in
1990, the proportion of women saying that they would personally
prefer to combine marriage, family and career declined six points
to 57 percent. And the proportion of women who would choose a
dual-earner, shared-responsibility marriage dropped from 57
percent in 1985 to 53 percent in 1990.
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"Women are re-evaluating where they are today," said Burns W.
Roper, Chairman of The Roper Organization Inc. "While they don't
want to go back to a traditional wife and mother lifestyle, the
Poll suggests they feel that new solutions for balancing family
and career need to be found."
In part, the Poll shows that 61 percent of women working
full-time are more stressed today in balancing family and
careers. Fifty-five percent say the nature of their jobs makes
it harder for them to devote themselves fully to their family
needs. Overtime or late hours create problems for nearly half of
the women surveyed.
At the same time, family responsibilities often cause on-the-job
problems for women. Thirty-one percent of women employed
full-time wish their families were more understanding about
demands, and 29 percent say their families make it hard for them
to devote complete attention to work.
When asked what suffers most when women work, 44 percent of women
and 38 percent of men say that children suffer most when mothers
work; 29 percent of women and men say marriage is affected.
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Is There Pressure To Be "Superwomen"?
Thirty-four percent of women and 27 percent of men agree that,
women should put less pressure on themselves to be
"superwomen." Similarly, a quarter of women and 19 percent of
men believe men should ease pressure on women to be "superwomen."
These sentiments run particularly high among executive and
Is The "Mommy track" The Answer?
When asked if the "Mommy track" (a two-tiered alternative career
path fQr women with children) would help ease the stress of a
dual lifestyle, both men and women gave it very little support.
Most women (73 percent) and men (69 percent) say that no one
should have to choose a pre-ordained career path. More than
eight in ten believe that companies should provide flexible
polices for both women and men.
What Is The Ideal Maternity Leave?
The issue of maternity leave causes tension, and women feel
compelled to accept options they regard as far from ideal. While
a majority of women regard three months or less as most
practical, only 15 percent find it ideal. Fifty percent would
like to stay home at least until their child is two years old,
yet only 11 percent think this is feasible.