Half of Young Australian Women Feel Their Gender Will Limit Their Career
14 December 2017 at 12:22 pm
Almost half of Australian teenage girls believe their gender could stand in the way of their career, according to new research.
The MyRoad Careers Survey is an independent study of 1,000 women across Australia, looking to understand the barriers young women face when planning their career and professional future.
Undertaken by Beacon Foundation and Coca-Cola Australia, the survey found 49.4 per cent of female high school students in years 10 to 12 believed their gender could negatively impact their career.
A third of senior female high school students said they believed boys would have more career opportunities than them, while 40 per cent thought they couldn’t get a job that boys could easily get.
Coca-Cola Australia and Beacon Foundation partnered last year to launch MyRoad – Australia’s first online mentoring program connecting young women with industry role-models across a range of professional sectors.
“Since its launch, Coca-Cola Australia together with our bottling partner Amatil, has provided over 60 mentors to the MyRoad program. We’re so proud to be able to contribute not only to the incredible program created in partnership with Beacon Foundation, but to the lives of young women who so deserve the best chance at success,” Coca-Cola Australia’s public affairs director Christine Black said.
“Support for gender equality is part of the fabric of our organisation – locally and globally. Our global commitment to economically enable 5 million women by 2020 is one example of how the business has prioritised the need to give women the tools for success.
“Our support for MyRoad not only helps us toward that goal, but also helps us reach those in more remote areas, who often need it most.”
Almost 2,000 students have received online mentoring sessions from 220 industry mentors from 100 different companies since the program launched in 2016.
There was still found to be a lack of mentoring available for female students however, with the MyRoad Careers Survey showing almost a third of young women in Australia didn’t have access to professional guidance.
This has led 50.5 per cent of those living outside the capital cities to have to make their career choices alone, which the World Health Organisation has said is linked to unemployment, stress, anxiety and depression.
“Most women did not have a mentor or role model on work/career matters when they were in school and wish they had one, believing that a mentor or role model would have been beneficial in pursuing their career after leaving school,” the report said.
“Those who had one felt a mentor or role model was crucial in influencing their career path and putting them in the right direction towards their desired career after leaving school.
“Further demonstrating the likely value of having one, those who had one were around twice as likely as those who didn’t to have felt adequately prepared and confident in starting their career after leaving school.”
Scott Harris, the CEO of Beacon Foundation said: “Enabling all young women across Australia to have access and exposure to work-related learning and authentic interactions with industry role models means they are more likely to have confidence to build their own career path, regardless of their gender.
“We’ve created a program that overcomes all those volunteer hurdles, such as taking time out of work, to ensure we’ve always got a mentor to share their story with the students and arm them for success when they leave school. MyRoad lifts aspirations and reassures young women that the world is in fact their oyster.”
People can express their interest in becoming a mentor for the MyRoad program here.