Last week marked 100 years since women gained the right to vote, so we’re taking a look at the biggest challenges facing women today. A survey has revealed the biggest challenges for working women in 19 G20 countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, USA, and Saudi Arabia. The five major issues that were highlighted were:
- Equal pay
- Career opportunities
- Having children while trying to build a career
- Work-life balance
Can you have children and a career? Most women say yes!
Of the 9,500 women polled, 47% are confident that having children would not stop them building a career—with younger women and those in emerging countries being more optimistic that they can balance work with family. 23% fear a negative impact and the others are uncertain. Women in Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia weren’t concerned that having children would damage their career, whereas women in the richest G20 countries such as Germany, Britain and France and Japan were most worried.
Almost 1/3 have been harassed at work, but most don’t speak out
The study revealed that 29% of the women polled have faced either physical or online harassment in the workplace. However, 61% choose not to speak out. Indian women are most likely to report harassment at work, with 53% saying they always reported harassment. Women in the USA, Canada, and Mexico were also likely to report incidences of harassment. In contrast, women in South Korea, Russia, Japan, and Brazil were least likely to speak out.
Gender pay gap is the biggest workplace concern for women in the USA
The gender pay gap was the biggest concern in the workplace for U.S. women, with 58% flagging it as a key challenge. The pay gap was also listed as a major concern for women in Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. Overall, 4/10 women listed equal pay as one of the most important issues in the workplace. Many of the women discussed having the same salaries as their male colleagues, yet they’re frequently passed over when it comes to taking on overtime or premium shifts.
Millennial women are more positive about their future in the workplace
Despite the challenges facing them in the workplace, millennial women were more optimistic about their achieving their career goals. 43% are confident that they can earn as much as a man doing the same job—in comparison to just 34% of women aged between 50-64. A similar proportion of women from the millennial generation feel that they have the same level of access to business networks as men, compared to 33% of older women. The majority of millennial women polled feel they have the same options as men when it comes to job access, and they’re also more optimistic about career growth and professional development opportunities.
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