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Millennial Women Face Familiar Obstacles at Work

Millennial Women Face Familiar Obstacles at Work

Today women workers describe a corporate world that sounds like the one their mothers worked in: hard for mothers, and senior positions held by men.

Millennials—the generation born from 1980 to 1994—make up the largest share of the workforce. According to a survey of 34,000 workers conducted by McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org, millennial women aren’t finding a gender gap at work.

About 75% of young women think changes are needed to achieve equality in the workplace, according to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center.

Overall, women in the McKinsey and Lean In survey said they do not pursue leadership roles due to the stress and pressure that come with them.

Megan Hellerer, aged 32, left her six-figure job at Google Inc., where she started working in 2006. She became a life coach in New York, hoping to share lessons from her experience with other women. Working independently is a privilege that this generation of women has, she says.

Reconfiguring careers

In a 2015 survey of Harvard M.B.A.s, roughly one third of millennial men said they wanted to take an egalitarian approach to parenthood, but only about 11% said they divided child care equally with their partners. Since men still outearn women, working mothers are more likely to be the ones to put their careers on hold when a baby arrives.

J.J. El-Far, 31, and her husband, Dan Hirschhorn, 32, say part of the problem is paternity leave. Ms. El-Far is on a five-month maternity leave to care for their son. “If we truly expect fathers to be equal partners and equal parents, we must start by giving them equal paid time off when a baby is born,” she says.

Women often come together to help other women.

Claire Wasserman, aged 29, left a job in marketing and advertising to start a professional development organization for women.

“We all think we can be the boss, that’s not the problem,” says Ms. Wasserman. Millennial women are just “experiencing sexism in small ways, on a day-to-day basis. It corrodes your confidence.”

“Women have been coming together for a long time,” says Ms. Bennett. “I certainly think there is always power in numbers.”


Source: Millennial Women Face Familiar Obstacles at Work
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