New Government equality strategy: Young Women’s Trust response

Wednesday 3 July 2019

YWT logoResponding to the Government Equalities Office’s new strategy, announced by Penny Mordaunt MP today, Young Women’s Trust campaigns and communications director Joe Levenson said: 

“We welcome the Government Equalities Office’s new strategy to empower women from school to retirement. 

“Young Women’s Trust research shows that women still face huge barriers to work and are penalised by a gender pay gap from the moment they start. 

“These difficulties are compounded by high childcare costs – which can be more than wages – other family caring responsibilities and discrimination and harassment at work. 

“We need urgent action to improve young women’s prospects and give them hope for the future. Alongside making flexible working the norm and providing affordable childcare, the Government should make it mandatory for organisations to put in place plans to close their gender pay gaps and for all employers to protect their workers from harassment and victimisation. 

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

ENDS 

Notes to editor: 

  1. Young Women’s Trust is a charity that supports and represents women in England and Wales aged 18-30 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 YouGov to conduct a survey of HR decision-makers. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 802 senior HR professionals / people managers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th - 23rd February 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by size and sector. The findings show that:
    1. 37 per cent of women say “sexist behaviour in my organisation still exists” – or two in five. This compares to 22 per cent of men, or one in five. In total, 29 per cent of employers agreed with the statement.
    2. Public sector employers were most likely to agree that “sexist behaviour in my organisation still exists” at 41 per cent, followed by private sector employers at 26 per cent and third sector employers at 21 per cent. When broken down by sector, public administration was the highest on 46 per cent (sample size: 74). 38 per cent of employers in large organisations (250 employees or more) agreed with the statement, compared to 13 per cent in small organisations.
    3. Six per cent of employers in total said that “men are better suited to management jobs than women” (nine per cent of men and three per cent of women).
    4. 10 per cent of employers said that men have better IT skills than women (14 per cent of men and 5 per cent of women).
  3. The charity conducted the same survey last year to find similar results. YouGov carried out a poll of those making employment decisions in 2018. The total sample size was 816 senior HR professionals / people managers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th April - 7th May 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the UK business population by size, sector and region. The survey showed that 32 per cent of employers agreed that “sexist behaviour in my organisation still exists”. This included 37 per cent of women employers and 29 per cent of men.
  4. For more information, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org.

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