Young people think we’re more likely to discover aliens

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Young people think we’re more likely to discover aliens than achieve gender equality 

YWTYoung people think we are more likely to discover aliens than end gender discrimination any time soon.

The charity’s survey of more than 4,000 young people, conducted by Populus Data Solutions, shows that 65 per cent expect to own their own home by the age of 40, 37 per cent think that scientists will have discovered life on another planet by that time, but just 27 per cent think that gender discrimination in the UK will be a thing of the past. 

The charity’s research shows that young women are still facing workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay in huge numbers. They are also more likely to be stuck on low pay or in insecure work, with many struggling to make ends meet and falling into debt. 

When asked about women’s ability to progress to the top roles, just a third of young people think there will be an equal number of women business leaders (33 per cent) or MPs (34 per cent) by the time they’re middle-aged. Nearly half (48 per cent), however, think that men and women will take an equal role in caring for children. 

The statistics reflect the slow progress there has been on women’s equality since the first UK women got the vote 100 years ago. Now, Young Women’s Trust is calling for urgent action to make this the year that politicians and business leaders press fast-forward on women’s equality. 

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: 

“100 years on from gaining the right to vote, women at work still face huge inequalities. They are more likely than men to be on low pay, in insecure jobs and to face sexual harassment. Discrimination, high childcare costs and gender stereotypes shut many women out of the workplace all together. 

“We’ve already waited too long; at this rate, today’s young women will retire before equality in the workplace becomes a reality.  

“We need urgent action to improve young women’s prospects and give them hope for the future. This means giving them the right skills and support to find jobs, ensuring decent and flexible jobs are available, making childcare accessible and affordable and changing the law to ensure under-25s are entitled to the same National Living Wage as everyone else. This would benefit businesses and the economy too. 

“Without action, today’s young women face a lifetime of inequality.” 

Young Women’s Trust will be asking experts what needs to happen to speed up women’s equality at a City Hall event today (Wednesday 31 January). 


Notes to editor:  

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. 2018 marks the centenary of women’s suffrage.
  3. Young Women’s Trust commissioned Populus Data Solutions to conduct a survey of young people. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year-olds in England and Wales, from the Populus Live Online Panel, were surveyed between 4 and 14 July 2017. The findings show that:
    1. When asked about the most important factors to achieving gender equality in the UK, the most common answers given were judging women on their ability not their appearance (92 per cent of young people), employers doing more to treat men and women equally (89 per cent of young people) and equal portrayal of men and women in the media (86 per cent of young people). Young women were far more likely than young men to describe a wide range of factors as important to achieving gender equality than young men.
    2. More young people think that scientists will have discovered life on another planet by the time they are 40 (37 per cent) than think there will be as many women as men MPs (34 per cent), as many women as men business leaders (33 per cent) or that gender discrimination in the UK will be a thing of the past (27 per cent).
    3. 41 per cent of young women said it was a real struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month (compared to 28 per cent of young men).
    4. One in four young women (25 per cent) are in debt all of the time.
    5. One in three young women (33 per cent) have been offered a zero hours’ contract.
    6. Three in ten young women (30 per cent) have experienced sex discrimination when working or looking for work.

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