Two-thirds of UK women believe bias and discrimination are still stopping them from finding jobs

Nearly two-thirds of women in the UK believe bias and discrimination are still holding them back from finding work, a survey suggests.

More than two in five (41%) worry their gender is a barrier to finding a new job and 30% worry their race is a barrier.

The survey from educational publishing group Pearson suggests that nearly three in four (74%) women have concerns about finding a job that pays them enough to support themselves and their families.

Meanwhile, nearly half (49%) are concerned about finding a job that will allow them to care for their families.

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Overall, 65% believe bias and discrimination are holding women back from finding work, while 63% worry their age is a barrier, according to the survey of 1,000 working-age women in the UK.

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 12 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.”

The study also found more than two in five (42%) women, who are employed or actively looking for work, cited maintaining their mental health as their biggest stressor, followed by financial stability concerns (36%).

Nearly three in ten (29%) cited helping children with online schooling as one of the biggest stressors.

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.

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