Dr. Carole Easton began her career as a child and family psychotherapist in the NHS. She has extensive experience in the voluntary sector as Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care, ChildLine and CLIC Sargent (caring for children with cancer). She is now Chief Executive at Young Women’s Trust, supporting and representing young women at risk of lifelong financial and emotional insecurity.
“…Our research found that more than half of young women say they lack self-confidence and nearly 40% say they are not confident applying for a new job. 85% say they do not receive feedback when they do apply…”
2016: Glass ceilings still firmly in tact
2016 has been tough for women. At the top, women like Hillary Clinton have faced rampant misogyny in failed attempts to break glass ceilings. Meanwhile, women trying to start their careers are struggling to even get a foot in the door. And this year we were told that, at the current rate, today’s young women will have retired before the gender pay gap is closed.
It’s not surprising then that the Young Women’s Trust annual survey found that more than half of young people are worried for the future. They are facing unemployment, low pay, job insecurity and high levels of debt. As a result, lots of young people are putting their lives on hold. Many can’t afford to move out or are moving back home with their parents after time away.
Changes need to job application processes
Young women tell us they want to work and be financially independent. But their experience of using job centres and applying for jobs can knock their confidence and impact on their mental health – making it even harder to find work.
Our research found that more than half of young women say they lack self-confidence and nearly 40% say they are not confident applying for a new job. 85% say they do not receive feedback when they do apply.
Young Women’s Trust has this year supported more than 200 women who were struggling to get jobs. Our Work It Out service provides free coaching to boost confidence and help women into work. Women who use the service get personalised advice and can speak to their coach at a time that works for them. Our job application service is giving young women the professional feedback on their CVs that they aren’t getting from employers.
70% of the young women we work with felt more confident after the coaching and 74% said they found the job application feedback “very helpful”.
Work It Out making a difference to young women’s lives
Isis is one of the young women who has benefitted from Young Women’s Trust coaching. As a care leaver, she said her “prospects didn’t look good”. Despite making it to university, she struggled to balance being a single parent and full time student. She began applying for jobs in her final year but soon lost hope: “I had a household to run and a child to care for and was struggling to make ends meet. I felt like a failure and had no one to turn to.”
Isis heard about Work It Out through Twitter and signed up straight away. Soon after, she got a text from her coach and arranged a convenient time to talk on the phone for the coaching:
“My coach was fully flexible and ever supportive of me. We’d arrange to talk after I had tucked my daughter into bed, and spend the evening focusing on me, my achievements, and where I wanted to go in life.
She gave me practical ways to deal with anxiety and overcome issues that made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough. By the time my coaching had come to an end, my confidence was fully restored and my mojo had returned! I secured part time employment and had begun the process to apply for postgraduate study.”
Next year, Young Women’s Trust hopes to help more young women like Isis, so they can get a foot in the door and have a chance of one day breaking those stubborn glass ceilings.
If you know someone who would benefit from personalised coaching, let them known about Young Women’s Trust’s Work It Out service: http://www.youngwomenstrust.org/what_we_do/services/work_it_out