More than half of women MPs faced discrimination

Wednesday 4 April 2018

More than half of women MPs faced discrimination standing for parliament, finds Young Women’s Trust

YWTMore than half of current women MPs say they faced gender discrimination during their selection or election, according to a ComRes poll for Young Women’s Trust. 

The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, found that 55 per cent of women MPs were treated less well when trying to get into parliament because of their gender. Labour MPs were the most likely to report gender discrimination (24 per cent of all Labour respondents), followed by Conservative MPs (21 per cent of all Conservative respondents). 

MPs in the North and the Midlands reported gender discrimination in the highest numbers (30 per cent and 27 per cent respectively). 

This compares to the three in ten young women who said they had experienced gender discrimination when working or looking for work in a separate Populus Data Solutions survey for Young Women’s Trust. 

The survey of more than 4,000 young people found that they think it is more likely we will have discovered aliens than achieved equal representation in parliament or in business by the time they are 40. 37 per cent think scientists will have discovered life on another planet, compared to 34 per cent who think there will be as many women as men MPs and 33 per cent who think women will be equally represented among business leaders. 

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. Young Women’s Trust has uncovered appalling levels of discrimination not just in politics but in workplaces across the country. Too many women are being held back by employers’ sexist stereotypes. This only serves to damage our public life and our economy. 

“Employers should value women’s contributions to their workplaces and do more to support them – not discriminate against them. 

“We need urgent action to help more young women progress to the top roles. 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. 

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

ENDS 

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. Young Women’s Trust commissioned ComRes to conduct a survey of 157 MPs between 4 and 29 January 2018. Data were weighted to be representative of the House of Commons by party and region. The survey found that:
    1. more than half of women MPs (55%) say they faced gender discrimination during the process of becoming an MP (in their selection or parliamentary election);
    2. 24 per cent of Labour MPs (of all genders) and 21 per cent of Conservative MPs (of all genders) said they had experienced gender discrimination during the process of becoming an MP; and
    3. 30 per cent of MPs in the North and 27 per cent in the Midlands said they had experienced gender discrimination, compared to 22 per cent in London, 18 per cent in Wales, 12 per cent in the South of England and six per cent in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    4. 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. 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).
      2. Three in ten young women (30 per cent) have experienced sex discrimination when working or looking for work.
      3. For more information or case studies, please contact Bex Bailey on 07495 981142 or bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org

Social