“The thing is, no one really asks you 'What do you want to do?” Wednesday night saw the official launch for our new report ‘The Real Story’ and this was one of the honest and poignant contributions from our panel member, Tammie. In a lively Q and A discussion our host, Journalist Sian Williams, was joined by Tammie and Nadine (two of Young Women’s Trust Advisory Panel members) Shadow Minister for Equalities, Gloria De Piero MP, Conservative MP, Dr Therese Coffey and Government Youth Advisor, Shaun Bailey. The panel debated the key issues raised in our report; from the stark fact that there are over 100,000 more young women NEETS then there are young men to first hand accounts of what it was like to be young and unemployed or pushed down a path that you don’t want to take just because "you’re a girl".
'The Real Story’ is about debunking some of the myths about young women- the story of two halves ‘bad behaviour, benefits and babies. Or successful, salaried, sorted.’ In fact, as we heard so powerfully on Wednesday, the reality can often be one of poverty, low pay, loneliness and a serious lack of support.
In her opening comments our Chair, Deborah Mattinson, surmised that “With over 1 million young women suffering from disadvantage in England and Wales they really deserve better and we’re determined to do that job.”
And we are. The buzz, energy and enthusiasm that came from the evening was inspiring. Young women were challenging politicians, policy makers and employers to listen to what really matters to them.
Young Women’s Trust is concerned about the issues young women face now because we know what a huge impact some of these can have on them as they get older. This was supported by the Resolution Foundation’s report ‘Starting Out or Getting Stuck?’ Showing women are much more likely than men to be stuck in low paid jobs throughout their lives: 1 in 3 women who start out in a low paid job never climb up the earnings ladder.
Wednesday was the start of our commitment to gather the views and voices of young women and support them in being heard where it matters. To see more from the event go to our Facebook page. You can download a copy of the report or get involved with our future campaigns.