Leanne Wood has given her support to a new report designed to support young women in their careers.
The Rhondda AM said the report from Chwarae Teg, called Bright, is important for highlighting what women aged 16-25 across Wales feel about their ambitions and concerns for the future, and what change they want to see in the next 25 years.
The report highlights what more needs to be done to support young women into their careers and ensure that future generations can fulfil their potential. According to the research, 67% of young women see barriers to achieving their career goals, and this figure increases with age.
A number of the barriers raised were around financial concerns and the cost of further qualifications, the impact starting a family could have on their career, and the lack of work experience and adequate advice and support to get them on the right career path.
Worryingly, gender stereotypes are still prevalent and 87% of respondents said that gender stereotyping affects women’s careers. Young women are still favouring traditionally female-dominated roles and sectors despite seeing the need for women in STEM; and issues of sexism, racism and discrimination on the basis of disability are a feature of young women’s lives.
Career Advice Services were also found to be outdated, and not have adapted to changes in career types and a shifting labour market. Only 56% of young women said careers services were useful, and 71% said they don’t have a career plan. It was felt that often, careers services take a gendered approach to career advice.
Ms Wood said: “This report shows that we are currently not doing enough to support women in Wales to prosper in their careers. In a time of significant change in the way that we live and work, we need to be sure that we are equipping our younger generations with the skills they need for the future. We need to listen to their voices and adapt to make sure we’re giving young people dynamic and continuous support.”
Natasha Davies, Policy and Research Lead at Chwarae Teg said: “The young women we spoke to have so much potential; they are bright and ambitious, but face persistent challenges to achieving their goals. These women are our future leaders, our future workforce, and they need to be effectively supported to plan, progress and develop in their careers. Our research shows that they currently aren’t receiving this support.
“Wales cannot afford to miss out on the potential of our young women, and across Wales we all need to take action to make sure younger generations don’t miss out. We’re pleased to have the support of Leanne Wood AM, and we hope they will support us to carry the recommendations from this report forward.”
If you agree with Leanne, please click this link to get involved with Plaid Cymru.