Ah, Millennials. We’re the most selfish, most entitled, most lazy generation – right?
While people are always entitled to their opinions, you can’t fight numbers – and we’ve got more than a few that show just some of the ways Millennial women are changing the way things have been done in the past. Because, in the words of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.'”
We know that, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Bustle survey found that 51% of the 1,000 Millennial women they surveyed think brands should give back to society and maintain ethical practices – and it shows in how we’re spending our money! When women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S. (Federal Reserve), we’re going to continue seeing some changes in the buying climate of the future.
If we put our money where our mouths are, that means we’ll start seeing smaller companies with ethical business practices climb up the ladder, and larger companies being forced into giving back to society (or suffering the wrath of our righteous anger and mama-bear tendencies to help those who need it).
We know that, “Leadership belongs to those who take it.”
– Sheryl Sandberg
‘Girl Boss’ isn’t just a cute phrase for Millennial women. A 2017 study by Buzz MG found that 83% of the Millennial females surveyed said they wanted to start their own business. Yeah, you read that right – 83%. Currently, 1 out of 11 American women owns a business (U.S. Department of Labor), and with a generation of women full of ambition, passion, and the drive to work hard, those numbers are going to skyrocket.
And for those whose next argument is usually, “How entitled is this generation, that they would think *gasp* that they can just own their own business?” Check out point #3 before thinking we’re not willing to work hard for it, compadre.
We know that, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Picture this: It’s 1975, and you’re heading off for your first day of college classes – where less than a quarter of the female population will be joining you across the nation. Yikes. Thankfully, the times they are a-changin’. Today, more than one third of young women have a college degree (or higher!).
All that education pays off in the form of 57% of women having full-time jobs (or starting their own businesses!), compared to only 46% in 1975. Now, whether or not Millennials can find jobs that justify spending a bajillion dollars on education is a different matter (and a different blog post altogether), but I digress. More education = More moolah. A recent Georgetown University study found that, on average, college graduates earn $1 million more over the course of their lifetime. We see you, sugar mama.
We know that, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”
– Nelson Mandela
Millennials care about making the world a better place. 61% of Millennials feel like it is their personal responsibility to make a difference in the world (The 2006 Cone Millennial Case Study). And with our generation being 78 million strong, I think we’ll do it.
88% of Millennial females reported that it’s a priority for them to be engaged in work that gives back, and the Pew Research Center found that 57% of Millennials had volunteered in the last 12 months, compared to only 54% of Gen X and 52% of Gen Y (who’s the selfish generation now, mom?!?).
We understand that really, success is, “Liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
– Maya Angelou
That gosh-darned materialistic and entitled Millennial generation, it turns out, isn’t so gosh-darned awful after all. Studies have found that we value quality over quantity, and I’m not talking about having champagne taste on a beer budget – I’m talking about how we live our lives. We value experiences over materialistic belongings, with 76% of us saying we’d much rather invest in doing things with others than buying ourselves stuff. What’s interesting is that the same study from Eventbrite found that 59% of Boomers feel that happiness comes from owning things. (Interesting. Veeerrry interesting.)
The Pew Research study mentioned in point #4 also found that 52% of Millennials say being a good parent is the most important thing in life, followed by having a successful marriage. What’s at the bottom of our list? Being famous got a whopping 1%, lots of free time came in at 9%, and having a high-paying job was the next one up from the bottom. While the Boomers may like to paint us as selfish and entitled, it turns out that Millennials actually have their priorities lined up to put people, family, and experiences before things, fame, and money – and if the whole world prioritized the way we do, maybe we’d all be a lot better off.
The truth is, every generation looks at the one behind it and calls it the ‘me, me, me’ generation; people like to think that age equals wisdom, and they’ve got it way more figured out then the next generation does. Every generation will have its areas that need improvement (I’m looking at you, social media! You temptress.) But every generation also has qualities that make it beautiful – and Millennials? We have a lot going for us. The world could use a generation that’s kind, connected, and focused on quality of life over amassing stuff that doesn’t make the world or our lives better — for us OR future generations. And who knows? Someday, maybe the Boomers will take a cue from old Thorin here and see that what makes us different, is also what will make us successful.