Know Me, Inspire Me, Unleash Me: Who's Aiming to Keep Millennial Women

Media, organizations and more are aiming to help Millennial women navigate their careers. Millennial women are hot. Brands are after them, companies are recruiting them, media is trying to understand how best to serve them and leadership programs have their interests at top of mind.“With millennials projected to account for 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 and women accounting for upwards of 50 percent of this total, executives are increasingly focused on cracking the code of how to attract, advance, and retain next generation women leaders, “ according to a new report from the International Consortium for Executive Development and Research.The study shows that women 5-10 years out of college were searching to work for organizations that would “know me,” “inspire me” and “unleash me.”The group of 40 global companies and 25 business schools that comprise the ICEDR, found in the research: “At companies where bright, young women are succeeding, junior female stars have opportunities to grow and continue their learning through new challenges and see multiple paths for advancement.”In a story about the study for AOL, the editors concluded: “The most surprising find from the study was that millennial women prioritize pay as their number one incentive for jumping jobs (65 percent of respondents), whereas the number one reason men will leave is that they don’t feel as though their current company offers enough opportunities for learning development.”Giving women a space to support and learn from one another can help women and their companies to advance. In the report, the authors noted: “Many of the companies we spoke with are trying to build several layers of connection for women—for example, by creating forums for senior women executives to connect with each other or by launching initiatives that link senior women to next generation women leaders.”Connection is also a business plan for the newly launched WOMEN@FORBES, described as “a new women’s multi-platform digital network that reinforces the company’s commitment to helping women advance their careers.”Christina Vuleta, Vice President of the Women’s Digital Network at Forbes Media, says, “Approximately 28 percent of people who visit Forbes.com on an average month are millennial women.  Our goal is to provide solution-oriented content from doers and disruptors that help these women take a step forward in their career. We believe that if every woman on the rise today keeps taking steps forward, we can break the future…and create the change we want to see.”The initiative includes “live intimate mentoring salons” with the first scheduled for June 21, 2016, in New York. Forbes suggest all women share ideas using the hashtag #BreakTheFuture.[bctt tweet=“Connecting women to other women in their field is key to helping them advance their careers”]Fifty new contributors include Sarah Kunst, Founder and CEO of Proday, a celebrity personal-training app; Christina Wallace, from BridgeUp: STEM at the American Museum of Natural History; Jo Piazza, co-author of the hit novel The Knockoff, award-winning journalist, editor and digital strategist; Jane Chen, Founder of Embrace and Denise Restauri, Founder and CEO of GirlQuake and author. Mentorship and leadership training are key initiatives targeting millennial women. A new leadership organization with Millennial women on its radar is Global Leadership League, aiming at creating a mentorship network for professional women in international education, according to PIE News. More than 100 women attended the Denver announcement for the new league, with leaders saying they had interest in joining from more than 1,000 women.Cynthia Banks, founder and CEO at Globalinks Learning Abroad, and Sarah Spencer, director of study abroad at University of St Thomas, MN., are leaders with the new league.According to PIE News: “We’re hoping to do a lot online because not all women can either afford or be at some of the major conferences,” Spencer explained. “We will offer online content, mentoring and we’re going to appoint some regional [representatives] to do regional meetings for women who can’t ever get to a national event. So they get some face-to-face connections as well.” Spencer added, “The focus is, how do we provide skill-building and opportunities as a community for women to talk about leadership?”Another major project aimed at Millennial women and girls’ leadership launched last week in New York, called VoteRunLead, with the goal of training 1,000 women for political leadership at DareToLead events around the country.The first event on June 18 was in New York City, with additional locations live streaming in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Nashville, TN, St. Louis, MO, Twin Cities, MN or from anywhere online.“At the local level, cities and towns all across the United States still have no women leading them,” reports Erin Vilardi, VoteRunLead Founder and CEO, “if we are lucky, they have one. Local democracy matters. One woman, even in the most powerful position in the world, needs numbers behind her. And, we know women are ready to lead at every level.”“We will only see real change when women declare their political ambition, run for office, and step into political leadership at all levels,” says IGNITE Founder and CEO Anne Moses. “That’s why IGNITE is thrilled to participate in Dare to Lead, so we can train college women in cities across America to run for office and own their fair share of political power.“According to VoteRunLead, “IGNITE will follow up with college women by launching college chapters on their home campuses, bringing a message of political ambition and the means to realize that ambition to thousands more young women across the United States.”The United State of Women seems to have found the magic formula for attracting millennial women.More than 5,000 women of multi-generations gathered in Washington, D.C. for the White House Council on Women and Girls summit, The United State of Women. Millennial women and girls were represented.Anjali Bhat, writes in USA Today, “According to the White House blog, 28 private companies announced at the summit that they committed themselves to a new Equal Pay Pledge, agreeing to conduct an annual gender pay analysis and eliminate gender bias in hiring and promoting processes.”Bhat adds, “The Obama administration, private-sector companies, foundations, and organizations announced $50 million in commitments, along with new policies, tools and partnerships that will continue to expand opportunity for women and girls. These announcements include a pledge by more than two-dozen companies to take actions to continue to close the gender pay gap, new resources to empower community college students to negotiate their first salaries, new campaigns to improve portrayals of women in media and enhanced global efforts to promote gender quality worldwide.”Speaking at the conference that she helped to create, First Lady Michelle Obama offered advice to all women. “Let me wake up every day and work hard to do something of value, and to do it well, and to do something consequential, and to do something that I care about. And then let that speak for itself.”According to Sharon Grigsby writing in the Dallas Morning News, Obama said, “And that would shut up the haters, because I would have a whole portfolio of stuff that defined me because it’s what I did, not what you called me. So the best revenge is success and good work.“Aiming to involve, retain, inspire and sell to Millennial women is a top priority for many companies as well as producers of high end goods.According to Fast Company: “Millennial women are so outpacing men in higher education that it’s inevitable they will become their generation’s top earners. With greater education comes greater wealth. Between 1980 and 2012, wages for men age 25 to 34 fell 20 percent, while those for women rose 13 percent. At this rate, young women’s wages will overtake men’s by 2020. The data comes from a 2013 Pew Research report, which notes today’s young women are the first in modern history to start their work lives at near parity with men.”