National Literacy Trust and Estée Lauder Companies’ report highlights barriers facing women in the workplace

by | Feb 13, 2023

The National Literacy Trust’s Confident Young Adults report, funded by The Estée Lauder Companies, spotlights workplace barriers faced by women, and opportunity gaps across gender, socioeconomic background and education

National Literacy Trust’s Confident Young Adults report illustrates the impact of economic, social and environmental barriers facing women, and the role of literacy in overcoming them. The findings show that 1 in 3 young women from low socioeconomic backgrounds do not feel comfortable challenging opinions in the workplace, and C2DE women (83.6%) have the lowest level of confidence expressing opinion. 

The ambition of the Confident Young Adults report is to address the issues it unveils to prevent the gap from widening even more as further cost-of-living crisis threaten to put pressure on the most disadvantaged in society.

Due to the disproportionately high numbers of women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds losing employment over the pandemic and reduced access to essential health and wellbeing services, they have since become especially vulnerable. The report is particularly significant to British beauty, an industry where 1 in 5 workers are under 25 years of age and 88% of employees are women. 

National Literacy Trust and Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) seek to empower the next generation of communicators, using the report’s findings to develop and build confidence and skills for the most underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The team’s priority is to teach girls and young women the communication and literacy skills they need to communicate effectively from a young age to combat the evident confidence crisis holding them back. 

It follows Estée Lauder Companies’ proud support of the National Literacy Trust, for which the conglomerate has pledged a three-year £150,000 commitment. A key focus includes Words for Work: Dream Big, which promotes communication and literacy skills from the age of five years old in recognition of the widening literacy gap in the wake of the pandemic since 2021.

While the beauty company’s own Open Doors Leadership Program helps mid-level career women discover their power and lead from their strengths, forming a crucial part of their overall commitment to women’s career development.

Sue Fox, President of Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland says of the report, ‘.. Though much progress has been made, we know there is more work to be done, and these findings underscore the need for investment in women and girls. When women have the confidence, skills and support to voice their ideas, we all benefit.’

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