Are millennial women more optimistic about their career prospects?

Posted On April 10, 2014

Possibly not. While my work focuses primarily on generational differences, not gender one, this Chicago Business story about getting more women into the c-suite piqued my interest. Would the optimistic nature of the Millenial generation translate to greater belief in their ability to break the glass ceiling?  According to a Pew Research study cited in the article, 62 percent of Millennial women surveyed assumed that having children would make it harder to advance in their careers. Seems the times are not changing as much as many had hoped. Yet, I can’t help but think that while Millennial women may not have the expectation that earning a spot at the leader’s table will be easy, they, and their younger peers will expect that it is possible.

In fact, as Kate Bensen, the author of this piece points out – and this is where we bring it back around to generational issues – there are benefits to having more perspectives in the workforce, and in leadership roles. Just as the each of the generations brings strengths and weaknesses to the table – Millennials are confident and tech-savvy, Boomers are strong relationship-builders – so do the genders. I especially like one of the suggestions made: move beyond mentorship to sponsorship. The difference, Bensen shares, is that sponsors advocate within the organization, where a mentor is mainly advocating on a one-on-one basis. The sponsor, therefore, needs to be someone with influence. This is a great tactic for younger generations who are seeking to gain exposure and opportunity within an organization as well. 

Categories: Blog, Generation Y / Millennials, Women, Workplace