Millennials – loosely defined as those born between 1980 and 1995 – think and work differently. To be competitive, now and particularly in the future, organizations will need to create a culture and work environment that attracts and retains a new generation of workers. This is especially true as organizations work to attract, retain and promote women, who should one day occupy a higher number of senior positions.
This year, PwC took a close look at the views and work preferences of millennial women. The study, Next generation diversity: developing tomorrow’s female leaders, revealed several findings about how Generation Y women around the world think about work. Perhaps most importantly, the study shed light on how organizations will need to adapt to recruit and retain this key segment of the workforce.
More highly educated
First, the millennial woman is more highly educated and more likely to be employed than previous generations, and she is more confident than generations of women before her. Fifty-one percent of millennial women – compared to 61% of millennial men – say they feel they will be able to rise to the top of their respective organizations.
Seeks opportunities for progression
The study found that the Gen Y woman considers opportunities for career progression to be the most attractive employer trait.
Global and more tech savvy
She also has more global acumen and is more technologically savvy than previous generations.
Finally, the Gen Y woman has a strong sense of egalitarianism and is likely to seek an employer with a strong record on equality and diversity.
Why is this significant?
Millennial women will comprise about 25% of the global workforce by 2020. In an era of talent scarcity, attracting and retaining skilled millennial women will be crucial. Organizations will have to adapt in significant ways, including how they manage, coach and provide feedback to these employees.
Frequent, in-the-moment feedback, is valued by 51% of the millennial women and men surveyed by PwC. Despite their digital aptitude, 96% of millennials prefer to talk face-to-face about career plans and progress, just as 95% of non-millennials do.
Moreover, feedback needs to be future-focused and goal-oriented, attributes millennial women rank as extremely important.
Attracting and retaining millennial women is a business necessity for my organization and so many others. Building a culture where conversations about career development and flexibility are both frequent and constructive is an important, tangible step towards helping women reach their full potential in the workplace.
[Words: from a longer piece by Laura Cox Kaplan, Principal-in-Charge of US Government, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy, PwC]
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