Young women’s Trust has published a new report One Size Fits No One(pdf) about young women’s experiences of navigating inadequate employment opportunities and the benefits system.
The evidence shows that young women face specific barriers to employment and are more likely to be classed as ‘economically inactive’ than young men. The impact is felt most strongly amongst those with multiple intersectional experiences, including:
- Care experienced young women
- Those with long-term physical or mental health problems
- Young women from racially minoritised communities
This research engaged 1,000 young women aged 18 to 30 about the challenges they are experiencing, how they are impacting their lives, and how they would like to be supported to overcome them.
The report finds that:
- A lack of flexible and accessible job opportunities is preventing young women from entering the workforce.
- Young women from minoritised groups face additional challenges and barriers when looking for work or claiming benefits.
- The benefits system is difficult to navigate, and many young women are struggling to live comfortably on the benefits they receive.
- The impacts of unemployment, underemployment and claiming benefits are pervasive across young women’s lives.
- Young women do not feel listened to or supported by the government, and many do not feel confident about their future prospects.
- Young women show incredible resilience, hope and ambition, even when systems or services do not always give them reason to.