Workplace gender discrimination remains rife, report finds

Workplace gender discrimination remains rife, report finds

Gender discrimination is still rife in workplaces in the UK, with young women being paid less and sexually harassed more than men. 

The Young Women’s Trust published a report, It’s (Still) A Rich Man’s World, based on findings from over 4000 young women, which shows millions are still being let down in the workplace despite the #MeToo campaign. 

Financial worries affect young women more than young men, as 47% of young women are concerned about their financial situations, compared to 36% of young men. 

Despite the UK outlawing gender discrimination in the 1970s, the report shows that underrepresentation of women and gender pay disparity is still an ongoing issue. 

Solomon W. Polachek supports this claim in his IZA World of Labor article on equal pay, noting that “equal pay policies based on wage outcomes have had little effect on the gender wage gap.” He calls for “economic policies that promote even greater lifetime work for women” and “can successfully reduce the gender wage gap further.”

The report also shows that most women find their job negatively affects their mental health, with 52% of young women noting the impact on their mental health, compared to 42% of young men. Furthermore, the report reveals that 23% of females between the ages of 18 and 30 have been sexually harassed at work, but only 8% have reported it. Reasons women gave for not reporting harassment were fear of losing their job, being given fewer hours or not knowing how to make a formal complaint. 

Carol Easton, the chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust noted that, “sadly, even a hundred years after the first women gaining the power to vote, it’s still a rich man’s world.” She comments on the survey results saying, “Young women’s treatment at work, pay and wellbeing are trailing behind those of young men.” 

Whilst policy already focuses on reducing discrimination, the report suggests more needs to be done. Antti Kauhanen made suggestions in his IZA World of Labor article, Gender differences in corporate hierarchies, noting that “equally important are policies that address gender differences in career breaks, hours worked, and psychological attributes.”

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