Our 2023 annual survey looks at the financial and employment experiences of young women.
We spoke to 4,061 young women aged 18-30 and 1,049 young men, as a comparison. We also spoke to 907 HR decision-makers to find out about how young women are perceived in the workplace.
We found that:
- Discrimination at work appears to be becoming the norm for young women, and it’s on the rise. Half of young women (50%) have faced discrimination, up from 42% last year.
To understand more about young women’s experiences of discrimination, we also carried out qualitative research with young women and employers. Read the findings here.
- Low pay is a huge worry for young women. 56% said their financial situation was uncomfortable compared to 40% of young men.
- Young women are being paid less than men even for the same work, despite this being illegal. Almost a quarter (23%) of young women have been paid less than young men for the same work.
- Worries about job security are growing. Young women are more likely than young men to have been offered a zero hours contract – 42% compared to 33%.
- Almost half of young women are worried about not having enough opportunities to progress.
- As a result, young women are much more likely to be struggling in the cost of living crisis and are increasingly pessimistic about their future prospects. Over a third of young women (35%) say their hopes for the future have got worse over the last 12 months.
- Racially minoritised young women are having an even harder time. They’re much more likely to be worried about pay, job security and opportunities to progress.
- Employers still aren’t doing enough to tackle the gender pay gap and sexist behaviour is still widespread. 15% still think that men are more suited to senior management jobs than women.
- Since last year there has been a steep drop in young women’s likelihood to vote, despite the election getting closer. 67% of young women told us that they are very or quite likely to vote if there is a general election in the next 12 months. Last year, this was 77%.
What can be done?
Young women have made recommendations for government and employers to tackle these issues. Read the Young Women’s Manifesto for an Equal World of Work.
If you’re an employer, download our free guide on making a more inclusive workplace.