More than 30 percent of young American women want to be entrepreneurs and work for themselves instead of working for a company, according to a survey of 1,050 women aged 18 to 35.
At the same time, 77 percent say that being “too young” has hurt their ability to get a job interview or get hired, and many keep their jobs just to pay off college debt, according to the survey commissioned by the 1,000 Dreams Fund, a national scholarship program for young women, and Recruiter.com, an online global recruiting career service.
Workplace bullying primarily by other women and sexism has affected about 20% of young women, too.
The survey highlights challenges facing young women in the workplace and could affect companies’ attempts to increase diversity and lure Gen Z and Millennial women, said Christie Garton, founder of the 1,000 Dreams Fund.
“A growing number of companies say they want more diversity in their ranks with more females in key leadership roles. That is the good news. However, if young female employees aren’t being properly supported in the early stages of their careers, they will seek other paths like entrepreneurship,” Garton explained.
“Diversity is now one of the primary elements that candidates look for when seeking out great companies to work with. If young women continue to unfairly face challenges as a result of their age and gender in their careers, then employers will find it difficult to hire nearly anyone for their teams. We need to change the conditions within which young women work once and for all – which is exactly what the 1,000 Dreams Fund is achieving,” says Miles Jennings, CEO and Founder of Recruiter.com.
The survey, conducted by Toluna Quicksurveys, is part of a larger series of reports the 1,000 Dreams Fund will release this fall called #StateofTheGirl, which is aimed at uncovering the biggest challenges facing young women in the U.S. today. Additional topics the series will report on this fall include:
- State of young women’s politics (to be released in early November 2016)
- State of young women’s finances (released in August 2016)
ADDITIONAL SURVEY FINDINGS
The Entrepreneurial Spirit is Strong
- More than a third (31 percent) consider their dream job to be working for themselves at their own company
Young Women have Workplace Woes
- 21 percent have been the victim of sexism in the workplace
- 20 percent have been the victim of workplace bullying (more so from other women! 18 percent vs. 12 percent)
- 77 percent say that being too young has hindered their ability to get an interview or employment
It Ain’t (All) About the Money
- While 22% chose their major to make money, more than half (58%) chose their major to follow their dream
- 32% would or have taken a job for 5 years JUST to pay off college debt
Not Enough Prep Work
- Only 25 percent of respondents are “very confident” in their interviewing skills. So three-quarters are not
- Having your resume ready to go at all times is very important, but more than half (57 percent) only update their resume when on the hunt for a new job