This post was also published at Damsels in Success.
I know a lot of awesome Gen X and Gen Y women. In fact, the city of Madison, WI ranks in the top ten of both female creative class, and female super-creative class percentages in the nation (Charlottesville, VA and Bakersville, CA, rank first).Generation Y women, Hannah Seligson argues, are “making one of the fastest and unprecedented career ladder ascents in history.” Here are some observations about one of the most powerful groups of women in history:
Women are more business-minded than men… Springboard Enterprises reports that “women in the United States have an ownership stake of 50 percent or more in nearly half of all privately held businesses.” In fact, women are starting businesses at a rate of twice that of men, attracted to the flexible lifestyle of being your own boss.
And we’re successful at it. The gross sales of women-led companies grew 39 percent compared to 34 percent for all firms. Barron’s predicts that by 2010 a woman has a one in seven chance of having a powerful job post. In Australia, studies show that “women-led companies on average outperform those where there is no female leadership at the top,” while “law firms with more female partners have a higher per partner income than those with fewer.”
… but women don’t always want a man, or children. While men in leadership positions often have a family to support them, Gen X and Gen Y women put careers ahead of settling down. While this can be a lonely proposition, many Gen X and Gen Y women are not in a huge rush to find a man, get married and start popping out children.
In relationships, the men increasingly stay at home or hold a less stressful position. If we’re even in a relationship. Many of us are doing just fine without a man as a result of our highly independent lifestyle.
A lot of us aren’t even sure we want to have kids. And if we do, we want to adopt (anything to avoid having a foreign object pop out of our fitness-club bodies). The vast majority of women that do plan on having kids also plan on staying in the workforce.
Women are natural leaders. The millennial woman brand of leadership is more about changing the world than our own egos. Moreover, we’re change makers willing to defy the traditional structures of “command and control” leadership for a more collaborative and inclusive model.
Anna Quindlen writes, “by its very nature women’s leadership is about redefinition, while men’s leadership has been about maintaining the status quo… You’re less wedded to the shape of the table if you haven’t been permitted to sit at it.”
I’m not surprised to learn that women and men are switching roles. I see examples all around me of women embracing the power of now to lead the next generation. The more young women that get others to not only look past their age, but also any perceived inequities, the better off our world will be.
One last note. Over in the UK, academics have dubbed young women leaders as “’the Monstrous Army on the March’, women who cannot, will not be stopped.”
Well then. March on ladies.