Among young women in the workplace, 15% are disappointed by their employer’s efforts to tackle the gender pay gap, but more than half (53%) do not have the confidence to challenge their boss on the issue, according to research by Young Women’s Trust.
The It’s (still) a rich man’s world report also found that one in five young women (19%) said they are illegally paid less than their male colleagues for the same or similar work. This figure rises to one in four (25%) for those aged 25 to 30.
On behalf of the charity, Populus Data Solutions canvassed a representative sample of 4,010 18 to 30-year-olds and 1,105 54 to 72-year-olds in England and Wales, between 29 June and 16 July 2018. The report was published on 13 September 2018.
A third of younger women (31%) told the survey they had encountered sex discrimination when looking for work and 43% of young mothers said they had experienced maternity discrimination.
The report also found that 15% of young women have been sexually harassed at work, but only 8% reported it. A third of young women (32%) do not know how to report sexual harassment at work and a quarter (24%) would be reluctant to do so for fear of losing their job. One in five young women (18%) surveyed said they are too scared to report sexual harassment in the workplace, while 17% would fear being given fewer hours.
The survey also found a gender disparity in the context of mental wellbeing: half of young female respondents (52%) said their work has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared with 42% of young men.
Dr Carole Easton OBE, chief executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “Our annual survey shows that young women’s treatment at work, pay and wellbeing is trailing far behind that of young men.
“A concerted effort is needed from government and employers to provide young people with security and hope for the future, redress gender inequality at work and help manage the growing mental health crisis among young people.”