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Report: Black Women Most Likely to Take Advantage of Educational Options Offered By Employers

Essence
Oct. 27, 2021
Jasmine Browley

Knowledge really is power, especially in the workplace. Fortunately, Black women are well aware of this and are taking full advantage of the resources needed to advance their careers, a new survey says.

According to a new report released by Pearson, over one in 10 Black women plan to explore additional educational options offered by their employers in the next 12 months. This is more than any other race of women in the survey.  It was also reported that 74% of Black women surveyed believe that women are using the pandemic as an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and careers.

Also, despite work challenges, 29% of Black women said that they are more confident in their career paths than they were pre-pandemic.

The Pearson Global Learner Survey, a poll of 6,000 women in six countries, found that 68% of employed women worldwide say the COVID-19 pandemic has made them rethink their career paths, with 48% of all women planning to change jobs or start working in the next six months. A massive 90% of women say they will make at least one move in the next 12 months to boost their job prospects or change careers, doing things like searching for new opportunities, updating their resumes, or submitting job applications.

“Women are taking control of their own fate, making deliberate moves to be successful–even while continuing to face both traditional and COVID-era hurdles,” said Vicki Greene, president, GED Testing Service, part of Pearson’s Workforce Division. “Despite mental health challenges, gender bias, and a pandemic, women are bravely forging ahead to seek out the opportunities they want and deserve.”

Women are betting on themselves for successful futures.

Twenty percent of women across the globe report that they plan to start their own business in the next year.

A whopping 88% of women job seekers say they want to improve their professional skills. Communication skills top that list with 19% looking to improve in that area. Another 18% of women are seeking to improve leadership skills and 17% want to improve time management skills.

While women are optimistic, they are fighting more barriers than just the pandemic.

Seventy-four percent globally believe bias and discrimination are still holding women back from finding work.

Sixty-five percent of women worry that age discrimination is a barrier to finding a new job, while 53% are concerned about gender discrimination and 40% worry about racial discrimination.

In addition, 77% of women have concerns about finding a job that pays them enough to support their families financially, while 56% are concerned about finding a job that will allow them to fulfill family care duties.

Women also want more employer support to cope with life’s stressors.

With the strain of the pandemic, 38% of women globally cited lack of financial stability as their biggest current stressor, followed by avoiding COVID at work (33%) and maintaining their mental health (31%).

They are asking employers to help. Thirty-two percent of women cited a competitive salary as their most important employer-provided benefit, followed by flexible schedules (25%), mental health services (18%), professional or technical skill development (18%), and remote work options (15%).

Notably, Gen Z women are less concerned than other generations about a competitive salary, with only 22% citing that as their most important benefit. Instead, just as many want flexible schedules (21%) and mental health resources (22%). More than any other age group, they also want employers to offer training to prevent sexual harassment (15%) and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (16%).

Now in its third year, Pearson’s Global Learner Survey is the leading poll of learners on education issues in the world, offering a deeper understanding of trends in education and providing key data to help further discussions on many important issues.

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