Experts also discovered another 15 per cent reckon their reading, writing or communication skills have hindered their chances of securing a job.
Furthermore more than three quarters of women admitted changing the way they speak to people at work by altering their accent, tone of voice or even choosing words which sound more intelligent'.
The study also found found 45 per cent of women have had to ‘work harder’ to get a point across in a professional environment.
Released today the research was commissioned by Lancôme and the National Literacy Trust has highlighted a range of barriers women face in the workplace due to poor literacy, communication skills and confidence.
Fiona Evans, head of schools programmes at the National Literacy Trust, said: “Thousands of young women leave school every year without the literacy skills they need to succeed.
"As a result, these young women will find it hard to get a job and be more likely to live in poverty.
"This issue is particularly acute for young women from the poorest communities, where only 44 per cent left school last year with good GCSEs in English and maths.
"We are thrilled to be working with Lancôme to transform the futures of hundreds of young women by giving them the literacy skills, confidence and inspiration they need to achieve their potential.”
Two-thirds who took part in the OnePoll.com study said they had misunderstood certain words at work, and half have used words they don’t understand, in a meeting, in a bid to sound smarter.
Close to one in three confessed using words in the wrong context as a result.
The Words for Work: Women in Leadership programme will address these challenges by providing young women in disadvantaged communities in the UK the opportunity to develop their literacy and communication skills, build their confidence, and help them develop their talents and passions in order to overcome barriers to employment.
The findings of the study have been published to support a new partnership between Lancôme and the National Literacy Trust to help young women develop the literacy skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
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