Millennials Aiming High in Corporate America, Shedding Old Gender Divisions

Who says millennials don’t have ambition?

Like Ms. Owodunni, other so-called recessionist millennial women are expressing more ambition than other age cohorts. The McKinsey and Lean In survey, which asked 70,000 men and women about their experiences at work, found that 60% of younger millennial women—those under 30—said they want to be a top executive, compared with 37% of older women. Those figures compare with 69% of young millennial men and 50% of older men [Francesca Fontana, “How Workers Under 30 Are Climbing the Ladder Differently,” Wall Street Journal, 2017.10.10].

The Great Recession seems to have played a part in inspiring ambition and a rethinking of gender roles among young workers:

These younger women and men are also more likely to say they split home duties 50/50 with their partners, and young millennial men are far more likely than their fathers and brothers to take on a larger share of domestic work. The youngest millennial men are now asking about paternity leave and other work/life policies earlier than past job candidates have done, [recruiting manager Casey] Miller says.

“I think that these recessionists saw that there wasn’t a gender divide between who was impacted by the recession,” Ms. Miller says. “They saw that their parents’ roles at home had to change…and began to see the importance of both genders” in sharing family responsibilities [Fontana, 2017.10.10].

Let’s hope those millennials’ ambition and gender-inclusivity prevail in the workplace and the culture and make last year’s Presidential election the last id-outburst of old white males frustrated at the passage of patriarchy.