New research from youth charity The Prince’s Trust, released today, shows the impact the pandemic is having on young women across the UK, revealing they are more likely to feel anxious and depressed than young men.

Figures from The Prince’s Trust Tesco Youth Index, conducted by YouGov, which surveyed 2,180 16 to 25-year olds across the UK, found two thirds (67 per cent) of young women “always” or “often” feel anxious, in comparison to 47 per cent of young men. Similarly, 48 per cent of young women report “always” or “often” feeling down or depressed, in comparison to 34 per cent of young men.

Significantly more young women say their mental health has worsened during the pandemic, 57 per cent in comparison to 44 per cent of young men. Just over half (53 per cent) of young women say that they have experienced self-loathing since the start of the pandemic, with 32 per cent saying they feel “unable to cope with life.”

Young women are also more likely to feel like their work and career aspirations have been damaged, with 66 per cent of young women saying getting a new job now feels “impossible” because of the competition, in comparison to 54 per cent of men. A quarter (25 per cent) of young women also feel that the pandemic has “destroyed” their career hopes.

Frances Milner, Director of Fundraising at The Prince’s Trust, said: 

These figures paint a stark picture of how the pandemic is impacting the outlook and mental health of young women across the UK. We cannot afford to let them lose hope for their futures, particularly when we know their generation is among the hardest hit by the effects of rising unemployment, a shrinking jobs market and ongoing disruption to training and education.

“Now more than ever, we must work together, with committed supporters such as Dell Technologies and Julia and Hans Rausing, to give the nation’s young women the confidence and skills they need to overcome any challenges they may be facing and feel more positive about their future.”

This International Women’s Day, The Prince’s Trust is launching the #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign, supported by Dell Technologies, to help young women who are struggling to find a job.

Many of the UK’s much-loved brands, including The White Company, John Lewis, Missoma, Co-op and River Island, are uniting to support the campaign by donating an amount from items sold on International Women’s Day, or creating a bespoke product(s) in aid of the campaign. Products include 50% of the sales raised from Missoma’s ‘Pendants of Power’ line, £5 from every candle sold by The White Company and £5 from every item of And/Or clothing, shoes and accessories sold by John Lewis.

Dayne Turbitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, said: 

We are extremely proud to support The Prince’s Trust #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign this year. Dell Technologies has been a proud partner of The Prince’s Trust for over a decade and has seen first-hand how truly transformational its work can be.

“The Trust’s Women Supporting Women initiative, helps young women to access life-changing support and guidance, enabling and empowering them to move forward with renewed confidence into a job, training or to start a business and Dell Technologies couldn’t be more proud to support them along this journey.”

The campaign is also supported by a transformational gift from Julia and Hans Rausing, to match fund up to £1 million in new donations to The Trust’s Women Supporting Women initiative.

Julia and Hans Rausing said:

It has never been a more crucial moment to ensure young women can have a positive and secure future.

“On International Women’s Day, we are delighted to be able to once again support The Prince’s Trust and its Women Supporting Women initiative. We hope the campaign raises awareness of the things we can do to help young women transform their lives.”