Feeling overlooked by employers, most Millennial women have one foot out the door
By David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global Chairman
It is costly to hire and train new employees on a continual basis, making employee retention a persistent challenge for organizations. However, it’s becoming even more critical to crack the code on what it takes to keep good employees as Millennials continue to enter the labor market. Deloitte’s fifth annual global Millennial survey suggests that two in three young professionals expect to quit their current jobs by 2020. That lack of loyalty should sound alarm bells as Millennials become the predominant part of the workforce around the world.
This year’s survey results also show Millennials are steered by strong values at all stages of their careers; it’s apparent in the employers they choose, the assignments they’re willing to accept, and the decisions they make as they take on more senior-level roles. They want to work for organizations that have a purpose beyond profit, and they want those organizations to provide opportunities to develop leadership skills. These may be the two most important factors in creating job satisfaction and long-term loyalty, especially among Millennial women.
This year’s survey shows women (67 percent) are slightly more likely than men (64 percent) to leave their employers within the next five years. One reason could be that 48 percent of female respondents say they are “being overlooked for potential leadership positions.” While consideration (or a lack of it) may be equal, the reality is that Millennial men (21 percent) are significantly more likely than women (16 percent) to say they lead a department or are members of their organizations’ senior management teams.
This could suggest continuing gender bias or situations in which women feel less encouraged to seek senior roles. It also may reflect the gender gap revealed by Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial survey, which showed Millennial men were more ambitious and confident in their leadership skills upon entering the workforce. In that report, men said they were more likely to seek senior-level positions (7 point gap) and, ultimately, aim for the top job in their organizations (12 point gap).
This year’s survey shows that women are equally likely as men to rate “opportunities for career progression and leadership roles” as a major factor for staying at or leaving a job. Where differences do appear—in the degree of influence rather than rank order—women place greater emphasis on flexible working opportunities and the ability to derive a sense of meaning from their work. Women more than men indicated that work/life balance was an important consideration when staying with an employer. Women also were relatively more focused on working culture, whereas men indicated they were more focused on products and performance.
There continues to be a divide between Millennial men and women in the workforce, with diverging views on what matters most in terms of loyalty and values between the genders. As employers navigate how to hire and retain Millennial employees, it’s important to understand what these young professionals are thinking in terms of the challenges they perceive and the values they believe businesses should hold and demonstrate.
About the Deloitte Millennial Survey
The research findings are based on a study conducted by Deloitte Global of nearly 7,700 Millennials representing 29 countries around the globe. Screening questions at the recruitment stage ensured that all respondents were Millennials—were born after 1982, have obtained a college or university degree, are employed fulltime, and predominantly work in large (100+ employees), private-sector organizations.
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