Women millennials, between the ages of 18 and 35, are more ambitious than any other female generation, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study released on Thursday.
“Our research shows that when it comes to the female millennial we really are talking about a new era of talent,” PwC diversity and inclusion leader for South Africa, Nana Madikane, said in a statement.
“Female millennials are more highly educated and are entering the workforce in larger numbers than any of their previous generations.”
PwC surveyed 8756 millennials (women born between 1980 and 1995) from 75 countries, of which 226 were from South Africa. This was to mark International Women’s Day on Sunday.
According to the study 53 percent of women millennials ranked opportunities for career progression as the most attractive employer trait.
A total of 86 percent sought out employers with a strong record on diversity, equality, and inclusion. However, 72 percent of South Africans surveyed did not believe opportunities were equal for all.
According to PwC, South African women millennials were least likely to want to work in defence (21 percent), government and public services (32 percent), oil and gas (14 percent), and insurance (15 percent). This was because of the sectors’ image and reputation.
Madikane said: “When it comes to earning power and patterns, female millennials really are trail blazers, with 66 percent of female millennials in a dual career couple earning as much or more than their partner or spouse.
“The more experienced the female millennial the more likely she is to be the primary earner in her relationship.”
She said the study dispelled some myths such as women left work to have families.
“The female millennial was least likely to have left a former employer because she was starting a family, and most likely due to a lack of career opportunities.”
She said employers had to create cultures that allowed such women to use their confidence and ambition.
According to the study 88 percent of South African female millennials surveyed expected real time, high quality, future-focused feedback. Despite being extremely tech-savy, they preferred such discussions to take place face-to-face.
A total of 71 percent of the South African women surveyed wanted to work outside the country during their career.