Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Lisa Gaynor, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Townsend, DBA

Committee Member

Richard Will, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Hammond, DBA


Culture, Equality, Gender, MeToo, #MeToo, Workplace


This research investigates the sociological, psychological, and physiological factors known to affect women’s career advancement opportunities. It examines how awareness and knowledge shared through the #MeToo (hashtag Me Too) movement influenced gender specific perceptions about the factors affecting women’s workplace opportunities. Finally, it recommends measures to alter the divergent gender perceptions that remain an obstacle to gender equality in the workplace.

This study was conducted because gender inequalities continue in the U.S. workplace in 2018. Currently women fail to advance in careers at the same rate as men, and they are paid 21% less for similar work with equal skills and experience. Women comprise approximately 51% of the U.S. population and 47% of the workforce, so equality would dictate a one-to-one male to female ratio throughout all levels of government and private industry. The current male to female ratio in the U.S. Congress is four-to-one. The male to female executive ratio in Fortune 500 companies is three-to-one, and in the U.S. Government it is two-to-one.

The researcher conducted a mixed method experimental study by comparing pre- and post-treatment interview and survey data to determine how much awareness and knowledge shared through the #MeToo mass media event impacted gender specific perceptions of women’s equality struggles in the workplace.

The qualitative interview analysis indicated a moderate shift from divergent gender perceptions in Study 1 to convergent viewpoints in Study 2 following the #MeToo media events. The quantitative analysis of pre- and post-treatment survey studies supported the qualitative findings and showed a 43% reduction in the gender perception gap in the post-event assessment.

With outcomes from three independent qualitative and quantitative investigations aligning, the researcher concluded the overall statistical results demonstrate a strong impact on men’s and women’s perceptions and a largely reduced gender perception gap following the #MeToo media events. Because it is unknown if those changes are permanent, the researcher believes future research could focus on awareness, education, and accountability initiatives to more adequately address gender equality problems in the workplace and bring about lasting change.