When considering the struggles of women when finding work, approximately 35 per cent of our job seekers are female – from those starting out in the working world, to those looking to develop their career or returning from a career break.
Gender inequality in the workplace is well-documented and has been a major concern over the past decade.
However, new research from the Young Women’s Trust has highlighted growing struggles of women who have been unsuccessful in finding work.
The latest figures report there are currently 285,000 young women in the UK who are classed as economically inactive – 82,000 more than the figure for young men. Commonly referred to as NEETs, these women are Not in Employment, Education or Training.
What’s encouraging is that of these unemployed women, almost nine in ten (86 per cent) want to work, but many face obstacles that make entering the workforce difficult, for example unaffordable childcare.
What’s more, according to the latest ONS statistics, female graduates are more likely to work in a lower-skilled job than men, who tend to secure higher-paid occupations and make up the majority of workers in the top ten per cent of earners across various industries.
It’s not only young women who struggle to find work. As we discovered at our fifth annual Women in the Workforce Conference held last month, many older women have also found this difficult.
Many cite age discrimination as a major barrier, while others simply lack the confidence to re-join the workforce after time spend out of work, or knock-backs from unsuccessful applications.
The struggles of women can be disheartening, however, there is support available to help when it comes to finding work.
If you are applying for a job that you don’t really want to do, this will come across in an interview. Employers want to see your drive and passion for a particular job. An experienced careers advisor can help guide you towards your new career, finding a job that is right for you; a job that corresponds to both your interests and abilities.
In terms of struggles of women, lack of confidence can also be a major hindrance. Careers guidance can help you overcome this by pointing you towards your employable attributes so you are able to sell yourself to prospective employers with confidence.
Emma May is head of employment at business and work specialist Work Avenue
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