Wellesley College Survey Shows Young Woman Are Worried About Their Futures

A new survey by Lake Research Partners, commissioned by Wellesley College, and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, finds that 61 percent of young women say they are not doing well in the economy right now, with nearly one in three saying they are not doing well at all. The results show that young women are facing financial anxiety, stress about finding well-paying jobs, and concern about balancing their careers and personal life in the future.

When asked about their top personal concerns, young women — who are in the formative stages of their professional lives — are focused on jobs and finances, including 1 in 3 who are very worried about getting a good paying job.

The survey also found that the majority say being a good parent (78%) and caregiving for parents and other family members (74%) is more important than having children (57%). Focus group participants indicated this hesitance, of postponing having children or choosing not to have them, is because of their concerns about their financial future or their ability to be a good parent because they respect the responsibility of good parenting and the hard work required. Many feel financial security, and the work-life balance necessary to be a good parent, are difficult to reach.

Mental health is also a key issue young women agree upon — nearly 9 in 10 say mental health is important in achieving their future goals including their economic goals and yet nearly 8 in 10 believe the pandemic will have long-term impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused young women to suffer disproportionate job losses,” said Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College. “We continue to see how the economy fails women, whether through gaps in pay, respect on the job, access to affordable childcare, or paid leave. While these women continue to show resilience and optimism, it’s imperative that we push for change to one day have an economy that supports not only women, but all people equally.”

The survey, “The Impact of the Pandemic on 18-30 Year Old Women in U.S.,” may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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