The Power of Millennial women: Tap it, Use it, Boost it
Originally published at www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com on September 1, 2016. — By Katie McBeth
Millennial women: this article is for and about you. But it is also for those who team with you, hire you and engage with you. As a millennial working woman myself, I want to talk about our potential…
Did you know millennials are the most educated generation to join the workforce? An estimated 63% of millennials have a Bachelor’s degree.
Maybe you weren’t aware that women only make up 4% of top CEO positions with Fortune 500 Companies, but the majority of small businesses are run and owned exclusively by women? Women are especially capable at running a business due to their (often) heightened emotional intelligence.
Millennial women are the best combination of both identities. With an exceptional set of skills and abilities, we are entering the workplace as a force to be reckoned with. We may very well be changing the future of business for the better.
What mil-women bring to the business table
The Millennial generation is large, and although they are often clumped into the same category, they are not all the same.
Millennials were born between 1985 and 1995 (or 2000 according to some). Their exposure to technology and the changing political climate have made each millennial unique in some ways, and more generalized in others. A few things are for certain: Millennials crave strong and constructive communication, desire flexibility in the workplace, and have collectively experienced the greatest shift in technology our world has ever seen.
Millennial women, as pointed out by research performed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, come in many variations of workplace experience and specialty. What is noticeable about this generation of women, however, is very few are “settling down.” Their drive to make a powerful career path for themselves has already advanced the workplace culture of today.
Millennials are known for transforming our definition of the “office.” They pioneered the flexible work schedule that many business employees enjoy today, and prioritize office culture and happiness over a higher paycheck. Their main concerns rest within employee satisfaction: if their job isn’t making them happy or helping them better themselves, then they won’t stick around for long. This shift in office culture is ensuring future employees a less stressful environment, and potentially a much healthier future.
Millennials use this shift in prioritization to their advantage, and are constantly intaking information to grow their knowledge base as well as focusing on their wellbeing. Thus, Millennial women are bringing healthy habits, strong communication, and ingenuity to today’s offices.
What mil-women should prioritize in a resume
Despite the obvious benefits to hiring millennials and women, millennial women are still often overlooked for raises, promotions, or new positions. It almost comes with the territory: if you’re a woman in business, you really have to make a statement to be seen by your company.
Women in the previous generations (mainly Gen X and the Baby Boomers) had the wise words of Sheryl Sandberg to guide them: Lean into the men’s club environment of business and you will succeed.
Millennial women should take a different approach: dismantle the men’s club environment and take the business world by storm as a woman. Bring focus to the best aspects that we bring to the table and show them how you can make a difference in their company.
Here are some tips on how to make yourself shine with the hiring manager or your boss:
- Emotional intelligence: Women are known for being empathetic and considerate of other people’s emotions. This is mostly due to our upbringing, but we can use this as a competitive advantage in business. Companies that place more focus on EQ over IQ have found a significant increase in profits; some as high as 34%. Give them an example of a time you used your emotional intelligence to quell an angry customer, or showed empathy to an upset colleague. Tell them how much you value emotional intelligence from your managers, and provide examples of when you were able to communicate through a difficult problem because of your high EQ.
- Desire to Learn: As stated earlier, Millennials are constantly craving new learning opportunities. Show them how you are eager to always learn new methods or operations. Point out your ability to navigate difficult tasks — such as learning a different program — and show how adaptable you are to change. Don’t let your lack of experience discourage you, either. Interview for that new position and tell them about how fast of a learner you are. They’ll appreciate the guts it took to apply to something completely new, and will most likely remember your eagerness and audacity.
- Provide a Diverse Perspective: Many companies are starting to realize the benefits of having a diverse demographic of employees, but some of them are still blind to the drought of diversity within their business. Diversity and ingenuity are closely tied together, and prioritizing your ability to bring new ideas to the table could be just the ticket to getting that position. Take a look at their list of current employees, and highlight what is unique about you. If the field is mostly men from rich business schools, convince them that your experience within business as a woman makes your input valuable and distinctive. Show pride in your accomplishments and your ability to break the mold, and they will be sure to remember you.
Millennial women can take the business world by storm. Already, business schools and international companies are recognizing the impact women have on their business. It’s a trend that is and should be growing, and millennial women can make that trend bloom even more.