Young women’s experiences of the coronavirus crisis

By Young Women's Trust • 27 October 2020

With unemployment quickly rising and disproportionately affecting young women, it is more important than ever that we understand the economic impact of coronavirus on young women. That’s why we’re calling on the government to close the women’s data gap.  

We’ve spoken to young women who are living through the coronavirus crisis. The stories they have shared  with us shows that the time to act for young women is now. 

 Losing my job

I left a toxic workplace in January and spent the next few weeks desperately job hunting. I finally got a retail position in March. A few days later, lockdown happened and I was left without furlough. I was assured I still had my job (and not to get another one) and that I would be furloughed, but ultimately I wasn’t.


I was left months without income. I graduated University a year ago, and I moved to London with big dreams. The year has instead been one of the hardest years of my life. I was left without income for months, but you know, at least I still had a job, I was assured, for when this was all over. Until I was told actually, no, I was going to be made redundant in August, which felt like a kick in the teeth after my loyalty of sticking with them.


[My employer] tried to get me to sign something during my redundancy period which stated I was on a zero hour contract (when I wasn’t, I was on a 35.5 hr contract when I was hired) and stated they were not going to pay me redundancy pay, holiday pay or anything. I felt completely disposable and also somewhat duped.

Worried for my future

I’m massively worried that working from home is going to limit my opportunities to network and engage, and my having to home school/parent 24/7 while working is really hard.


I feel like ultimately something will give and women in general are going to have to take steps back from their careers, as we’re expected to be the care givers. Women tend to be the ones who have to give when push comes to shove, because we’re the lower earners.

I want to move on

I have been ready to move on from living in a refuge for many months however, I have not been able to get a place yet. Bidding is first come first serve and it’s stressful. I want to get out of refuge and have my own place to call home so that I can then look for a job. I don’t want to be relying on benefits for too long, I want to move on.

Behind each of these stories is a woman who is concentrating on surviving the coronavirus crisis, but these are just a few experiences from the 1000s of young women who have been impacted.

We want to Government to set out a clear jobs plan for young women. We’re asking them to close the women’s data gap by making employers publish their redundancy data by protected characteristics like age, sex or race so we can see who is being impacted by job losses. This is to ensure we better understand the impact of the crisis on young women and support is targeted correctly.

Read more about our No young woman left behind campaign