Why we’re worried about young women’s jobs

By Young Women's Trust • 21 September 2020

We started our No Young Woman Left Behind campaign because we don’t think that any young woman should be at the back of the queue as the country tries to cope and recover from the coronavirus crisis.

This week we have launched the next phase of our campaign to fully understand and tackle what we think is a big problem for young women unless something is done about it – job losses and redundancies.

Why are young women at risk of being impacted by job losses and redundancies?

Young women were already unfairly dependent on zero hours contracts and unstable part-time work before the covid crisis started. Many of them were also doing this work alongside caring responsibilities.

They are also more likely to be working in the sectors that are struggling the most like retail, travel and hospitality.

We fear that young women’s unemployment and inequality in the workplace will only rise as the current furlough scheme comes to an end, job losses increase, local lockdowns take place and the economy continues to struggle.

What should the government do about it?

In addition to setting out a clear jobs plan for young women, we think the government should:

  • Make employers publish their redundancy data by protected characteristics like age, sex or race so we can see who is being impacted by these job losses.
  • Monitor and publish data on who takes up the government’s Kickstart job placement scheme. This should be broken down by industry as well as by sex, age and race.
  • Immediately commit to restarting gender pay gap reporting for 2020/21 – which was suspended in March.
  • Publish equality impact assessments of economic policy. This is something that policymakers do to predict whether a new policy will positively or negatively affect equality.

Why is it important we know this information?

Data is a vital tool for understanding who is being affected by a policy or change in the economy. We are really concerned that employers are currently under minimal scrutiny when making what are rushed decisions about hiring, firing and working patterns.

Being able to see up to date information about the sectors, people and protected groups more likely to be suffering from job losses and taking up opportunities will allow the government to step in and provide them with more tailored support.

What are Young Women’s Trust doing about it?

We have written to the government and other key politicians asking them to agree with our call to make businesses publish this redundancy data and ensure the gender pay gap reporting is back next year.

If you are a young woman aged 18-30 and have been affected by job loss or redundancy our Work It Out service could help. We offer free personalised support on your CV, cover letter or job application.