Ignored, Undervalued and Underpaid

We surveyed almost 200 young women to hear what impact coronavirus has had on their work, finances and wellbeing.

27 May 2020

Young women are among the worst affected by the economic fallout from coronavirus and they are worried about what the future holds.

We surveyed almost 200 young women to hear what impact coronavirus has had on their work, finances and wellbeing.

Young women told us that:

  • Coronavirus is pushing many young women into even greater financial hardship than before. Young women are disproportionately likely to work in the sectors shut down by the coronavirus. They are worried about what the crisis means for their finances and future opportunities.
  • Young women are taking on even more hours of unpaid work looking after family and friends. Women already did 60% more unpaid care work than men and this has increased exponentially as the country has shut down. Taking care of children, looking after those who have the virus and helping vulnerable people who are shielding means young women are going to be shut out from returning to work.

I am working from home with a toddler. It is not safe for me to work during my contracted hours because my toddler is active and therefore, I have to work throughout the night – which leaves me exhausted in the day.

Young woman

  • Young women are more likely than men to be key workers in public facing roles.  And they feel unsafe, overworked and stressed in these jobs. As increasing numbers of businesses open, young women will continue to be amongst those most exposed to the physical risks when they return.
  • Pressures from coronavirus are exacerbating an existing crisis in young women’s mental health. Young women are already the highest risk group in the population for mental ill health. And 73 per cent of the young women we heard from said they have experienced an increase in stress or anxiety as a result of the crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the true extent of the economic inequality and injustice that young women face. Unless the government takes urgent action, this crisis could deepen the gender divide.