Celebrate International Women's Day today

Celebrate International Women's Day today

A massive 51% of British women don’t think that women have an equal standing in the workplace, according to new research by women’s website MyDaily.co.uk in conjunction with YouGov.

The women’s census, released today to mark International Women’s Day, also showed that the majority of British women believe they are underpaid for the work they do, with 60% of those female workers surveyed stating they aren’t paid enough.

Equality and work life

When questioned about the EU’s controversial plans to bring in legally enforced minimum quotas to ensure there are more women in the boardrooms of British businesses, over a third of British women (39%) admitted they were in favour of the move compared to just 19% of men who were in favour of the idea. Women aged 55-plus were the biggest supporters of minimum quotas, with 42% stating they would support the policy. The over 55s are also the age group that has the strongest feelings about inequality in the workplace, with 61% of women of this age of the opinion that women do not have an equal standing at work.

The study also revealed that men have a very different viewpoint on issues of equality. More than half (56%) of men stated that they felt women did have an equal standing at work compared to 31% of women, highlighting that women still have a way to go to convince men that inequality is still rife at work.

When asked about their attitudes to work, the majority of British women workers (51%) admit they are grateful to have a job, reflecting the current climate and fears about rising unemployment. Overall the nation’s women feel positively about their work with nearly a third (29%) admitting to loving their current job. Younger female workers are the most ambitious with 24% of those aged 25-34 stating their career is very important to them and 28% of 18 to 24 year olds saying the same.

Although younger women admit their career is a priority, it appears that finding true happiness in the workplace comes later in life with women aged 55 plus found to be the happiest at work. Over a third (36%) of women in this age group stated they love their job and just 1% stated they hate it.

Across all age groups up to 55, successful business woman Karren Brady (7%) was the woman from the given list whose career British women would most like to emulate, followed by Meryl Streep (6%) and Hilary Clinton (5%). Tabloid favourites Katie Price and Kim Kardashian were amongst those females at the bottom of the list across all age groups, showing that women are looking for role models who balance public life with their career, rather than those who are constantly on the celebrity pages.

Best time to be a woman

Despite the issues still facing women in 2012, it was agreed that the 2010s is the best decade to be a women, with just over a quarter of those surveyed choosing it over other eras from the last century. The most compelling reason for women choosing this decade was personal freedom, followed by gender equality and career prospects. The over 55s were the only age group where the majority chose a different decade, with nearly a quarter nostalgically opting for the 1960s.

On average, British women believe that the best age to be a woman is 35, going against the notion British women are desperately fighting to hold onto their youth. The average woman aged 18-24 revealed they were yet to reach their ultimate age; claiming that 28 was the age they perceive it’s best to be a woman.

Media representation

British women aged 18-24 and 55+ are more likely to be unhappy with the way their generation is represented in the media; with a quarter of all women unimpressed with how their age group is portrayed on television, film and in the papers. Those most unhappy with the representation of their generation are women aged 18-24, with half stating they are unhappy with the way their age group is portrayed. Comparatively this was much higher than any other age bracket; the second most unhappy were the over 55s, adding weight to the widespread concern that older women lack realistic representation within the media.

Attitudes to sex

Showing a truly liberal attitude to sex, nearly a fifth of British women believe it’s justifiable for a woman to sleep with someone for money. Surprisingly the younger generation are the most against it, with a huge 55% of those aged 18 to 24 disagreeing that it is a justifiable action, women aged 35 to 44 are most in support of a woman’s decision to have sex for money; 29% stated they thought it was justifiable for a woman to do so.

In terms of priorities, sex is fourth chosen from the given list of activities that women enjoy most, behind watching TV, eating food and travelling. Perhaps unsurprisingly it tops the list for men with 27% choosing it as their favourite activity from the list. Sex did top the list for younger women with 18 to 24 year old women choosing it as the activity they enjoy the most. Proving that sex is important whatever your age, more than one in ten women aged 45 to 54 also chose sex as their favourite activity.

The only region where sex topped the agenda for women was London where 16% admitted it was their favourite pastime, this compared to Wales where just 6% of people put it top of their list of enjoyable activities.

The Monarchy

In the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the British public are in favour of the royal family with 65% of women supporting the monarchy. Women over the age of 55 are the strongest supportersand just one in ten of all women are actually in opposition to Britain having a royal family. The majority of women aged 18 to 24 are supporters of the monarchy with 57% in favour of the royal family compared to the 9% of that age group who are in opposition to it. 

Libby Banks, Editor of MyDaily.co.uk stated: ‘Women are still acutely aware that there is a lot of work to be done before they’re on a truly equal footing with men in the workplace and it’s particularly interesting to see the discrepancy this study has highlighted between men and women’s views on exactly how prevalent inequality is at work. At MyDaily.co.uk we know how important having a career is to women of all ages and this women’s census has given us a fascinating insight into the views of British women in this and other areas. It is particularly interesting to see how liberal women of all ages are about sex and that it remains a priority to women whatever their age.’


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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