A large majority of women across the UK, namely two in three women, believe that bias and discrimination hold them back from finding work, according to new research, shared with City A.M. this morning.
More than two in five women worry that their gender is a barrier to finding a new job and 30 per cent worry their race is a barrier, according to research commissioned by one of the country’s largest education companies.
A survey from educational publishing group Pearson suggests that nearly three in four (74 per cent) women have concerns about finding a job that pays them enough to support themselves and their families, while nearly half (49 per cent) are concerned about finding a job that will allow them to care for their families.
Overall, 65 per cent believe bias and discrimination are holding women back from finding work, while 63 per cent worry their age is a barrier, according to the survey of 1,000 working-age women in the UK.
More than two in five (42 per cent) women, who are employed or actively looking for work, cited maintaining their mental health as their biggest stressor, followed by financial stability concerns (36 per cent).
Nearly three in ten (29 per cent) cited helping children with online schooling as one of the biggest stressors.
Women in the UK are most interested in having a competitive salary and flexible schedules (both 34 per cent), mental health services (32 per cent) and remote work options (19 per cent) from their employers.
Pearson commissioned a survey of 6,000 working-age women in the United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the UK, with 1,000 women per nation questioned.
It found that 68 per cent of women globally, and 53 per cent in the UK, say the Covid-19 pandemic has made them rethink their career path.
The survey, which was carried out between August and September, suggests nearly half (48 per cent) of women globally are planning to change jobs or start working in the next six months, compared with 37 per cent in the UK.
Nine in ten women globally, and 85 per cent in the UK, say they will make at least one move in the next year to boost their job prospects or change careers.
But only 7 per cent of women in the UK said they plan to start their own business in the next year, compared with 20% of women globally, the survey shows.
Globally it is Generation Z women (those born between 1997 and 2012) who are more likely than other age groups to want employers to offer training to prevent sexual harassment (15 per cent).
Freya Thomas Monk, senior vice-president of Pearson tests of English, said: “Coming out of the pandemic we see women rethinking their career paths, using the next twelve months to seek out new job opportunities or rejoin the workforce, for instance.
“Despite continuing to face both traditional and Covid-era challenges they believe are holding them back in the workplace, such as ongoing gender bias and the mental health challenges of homeschooling during Covid, women are forging ahead to develop new skills and seek out employment options that are right for them,” Monk added.