Young women today are getting off to a stronger start than any prior generation, in both the workplace and at home. Now, thanks to Euro RSCG Worldwide, we've got a clue as to how the recession is shaping the career expectations of millennial women and what that means for winning their loyalty.
The highlights of Gender Shift: Are Women the New Men? (one of the most delightfully designed reports I've ever seen):
- Single biggest fear of millennial women: Being unsuccessful
- Just as important as salary? Anticipated work-life balance
- What men think of the future: Over two-thirds of millennial men expect that women will lead change in the world
Maybe we should just start calling millennial women the 'get it done' generation (not to steal the thunder of Larry the Cable Guy). They fully expect to be immersed in the work-life blur pretty much from the start. The blur used to be the blend, and before that it was the balance. (Remember the Redbook 'juggler' campaign with the flying baby?)
Technology has erased any pretense that work stays in the office and home stays at home. Millennial women are the first generation to grow up in the world of the blur, and it appears that young men are with them in the whirl.
Meanwhile, millennial men expect women to effect change in the workplace and in society. To me, that means that many gender power struggles simply won't happen.
Euro RSCG Worldwide's takeaway is that marketers need to reflect the mutual respect that millennial women and men hold for each other. Employers should adapt leadership development programs accordingly. Make sure men are welcome and invited to women's initiatives. Showcase cross-gender mentoring. Include men's stories of flexwork success, not just those of working moms. And let's all be glad to be starting the new year with a new cultural norm underway.
Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor anitapatterson.