Nearly 300,000 young women in the UK are "shut out" of the job market due to a lack of support from the Government, according to a study by a leading women’s charity.
The Young Women's Trust revealed 285,000 young women – 82,000 more than men – were classed as economically inactive, meaning they are not working or not looking for a job, despite 86 per cent of them wanting a job, based on the charity’s analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics.
Caring for family members is the main reason women give for being economically inactive. Mothers in particular struggle to re-enter the workplace due to a lack of affordable childcare.
A lack of regular and affordable transport also prevents women from finding a position, especially in rural areas, the study found.
Young women out of work can feel isolated and struggle to get by financially. Almost a third of those who are economically inactive want to work, according to the report.
Dr Carole Easton, chief executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “Young women are telling us they want to work but too often they are shut out of the jobs market by a lack of networks and support and a lack of convenient childcare. While the Government focuses on reducing its unemployment figures, hundreds of thousands of women who are not included in the numbers are being forgotten.
“Giving young women the support they need to find work will not only help them to become financially independent but will benefit businesses and the economy too.”
Research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Equality & Human Rights Commission has shown that 11 per cent of women reported being dismissed, made redundant or treated so badly they had to leave once they became pregnant or returned to work after having a baby.
A staggering 20 per cent reported another financial loss, such as salary reduction, failing to gain a promotion or not receiving an expected pay rise or bonus.
Joeli Brearley, founder of the online project Pregnant Then Screwed, which aims to raise awareness of pregnancy discrimination in the UK, said the high cost of childcare is preventing many women to go back to work.
“Access to free or subsidised childcare would mean more women are able to return to work as the cost is prohibitive for many and younger mothers are likely to earn less than their older counterparts,” Ms Brearley told The Independent.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, previously said: “We need to do far more to support all working mums, starting by increasing the number of quality part-time jobs and making childcare much more affordable.”
The world's 15 most powerful women in 2015
The world's 15 most powerful women in 2015
1/15 Angela Merkel - German Chancellor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has retained her number one ranking for topping this year’s Forbes list for the fifth consecutive year and ten times in total.
2/15 Hillary Clinton - Presidential candidate, United States
Clinton, who could become the world’s most powerful leader in 2016, has been featured on the list every year since it launched in 2014.
3/15 Melinda Gates - Cochair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates has cemented her dominance in philanthropy and global development to the tune of $3.9 billion in giving in 2014 and more than $33 billion in grant payments since she founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband in 2000.
4/15 Janet Yellen - Chair, Federal Reserve, Washington, United States
Janet Yellen made history in 2014 when she became the first female head of the Federal Reserve.
5/15 Marry Barra - CEO of General Motors
Mary Barra made history by becoming the first female CEO of General Motors.
6/15 Christina Lagarde - Managing director, International Monetary Fund
Christine Lagarde is entering the last year of her first term heading the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the organisation which serves as economic advisor and backstop for 188 countries. Under Lagarde the IMF has supported efforts to increase female labor force participation as way to reduce poverty and inequality. The UK, Germany, China, France and Korea have endorsed Christine Lagarde for another term as the head of the IMF.
7/15 Dilma Rousseff - President, Brazil
Dilma Rousseff, who has been elected in 2010, is Brazil's first female president.
8/15 Sheryl Sandberg - COO of Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of bestseller “Lean In,” joined the company in 2008 and became the first woman on its board four years later. Sandberg helped the social network go public and expand digital revenue.
9/15 Susan Wojcicki - CEO of Youtube
Susan Wojcicki is CEO of YouTube, the world’s most popular digital video platform used by over a billion people across the globe. She oversees YouTube's content and business operations, engineering, and product development.
10/15 Michelle Obama - First lady, United States
Michelle Obama, the 44th first lady of the United States has focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family and encouraging national service.
11/15 Park Geun-hye - President, South Korea
Park Geun-hye is the first female leader of a country that has the highest level of gender inequality in the developed world. In her inauguration speech, she promised to prioritise both national security and economic revitalisation.
12/15 Oprah Winfrey - Actress, Director/Producer, Entrepreneur, Personality, Philanthropist
Oprah Winfrey, a former queen of daytime TV has proven she can thrive without a talkshow. Her 'The Life You Want' tour sold out stadiums from Newark to Seattle in 2014.
13/15 Ginni Rometty - CEO of IBM
Ginni Rometty joined IBM in 1981 and later became the first woman to lead the company.
14/15 Meg Whitman - CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Meg Whitman is the only woman to have headed two large U.S. public companies: eBay and Hewlett-Packard.Until Marissa Mayer's arrival at Yahoo, she was the only female head of a leading Internet-based company.
15/15 Indra Nooyi - CEO of PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. Mrs. Nooyi leads one of the world’s largest convenient food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion.
Professor Sue Maguire, of the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath, who carried out the research in partnership with Young Women’s Trust, said the research shone a light on the unacceptable levels of economic inactivity among young women
She said: “The evidence highlighted the detachment and isolation, accompanied, in too many cases, by high levels of anxiety and depression that many young women who fall into this category face.
“Too many young women lack the appropriate support which would enable them to re-engage, not just with education, employment or training, but with society more generally.
“As a matter of urgency, policy-makers from different government departments must come together to devise and implement targeted and sustained interventions."Reuse content