2014 International Women’s Day

PwC highlights what can be done to help young women reach leadership positions

The millennial woman is most confident of any generation before: 51% feel they will rise to the most senior levels of their organisation

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 March 2014 - To mark International Women’s Day on Saturday 8th March 2014, PwC releases a report focusing on what millennial (or Gen Y) women expect in their careers, and what organisations can do to create the right environment for them to flourish in the workplace. 

The report Next generation diversity – Developing tomorrow’s female leaders identifies six key themes which are integral to the successful attraction, retention and development of the female millennial.

This complements other research carried out by PwC on the millennial generation (see notes for more details).  Our observations have been fine-tuned to focus on the female part of this generation – helping us to better understand how millennial women can be developed into the leaders of tomorrow.   

Some highlights of the PwC report include:

  • Female millennials matter because they are more highly educated and are entering the workforce in larger numbers than any of their previous generations. 40% of the current global labour force is female and one billion women are expected to enter the workforce in the next decade. Globally, women now account for a majority of students in 93 out of 139 countries; earn more bachelor’s degrees than men; and have an edge over men of 56% to 44% in master’s degrees.

  • The millennial woman is more confident than any female generation before her and highly rate opportunities for career progression. 51% feel they will be able to rise to the most senior levels with their current employer, however, this is still lower than men at 61%. Opportunities for career progression are considered the most attractive employer trait by the female millennial (53%).

  • Female millennials seek out employers with a strong record on diversity. 82% say an employer’s policy on diversity, equality and workforce inclusion matters when deciding on a job offer. But these expectations aren’t always met – while 55% of millennials agree that organisations talk about diversity, they don’t feel opportunities are really equal.

  • The millennial generation can be expected to drive unprecedented work life organisational culture shifts. 97% of millennial women (93% of millennial men) say work life balance is important. Flexibility ranks very highly among them, although the majority are unmarried (75%) and without kids (92%), proving that work life balance and flexibility aren’t solely a female or parent demand.

  • The female millennial expects regular feedback and despite being extremely tech-savvy, prefers important feedback discussions to take place face-to-face. 93% prefer performance evaluations to take place over face-to-face discussions. Likewise, 96% of millennial women want career plans and progress to be discussed in that manner.

  • International experience is in high demand from this generation of women. Unsurprisingly, 63% of millennial women feel international experience is critical to further their career. However, women only make up a meagre 20% of current international assignees.

  • An employer or sector’s image and reputation matters to the female millennial. The Financial Services sector is dominated by female talent (at close to 60% globally). Ironically, the highest number of women (22%) also said they were unlikely to pursue careers in Financial Services solely because of its image. This poses a unique challenge to the future of the industry.

Dato’ Mohammad Faiz Azmi, Executive Chairman of PwC Malaysia, says:

“We believe strongly that diversity in people will bring the strongest results possible for PwC, as well as any other organisation. That is why we’re keen to focus on female millennials who will make up 25% of the global workforce by 2020. There is a lot of opportunity for Malaysian organisations to commit to an inclusive culture and inclusive talent processes, policies and programmes where all talent can prosper – including the female millennial.

The debate isn’t whether organisations should embrace gender diversity and inclusion, but why shouldn’t they?”

Chin Suit Fang, PwC Malaysia Diversity and Markets Leader added:

“A strong tone from the top is vital to see a meaningful shift in how organisations view gender diversity. Inculcating the right culture, mindset and environment is critical in helping talented women succeed. It’s not something that can be done overnight but will require continuous enhancement and a hands-on approach by business leaders. My question to Malaysian employers is: How will you shift from a culture of work life policies to a culture of work life in practice?"

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  1. To download Next generation diversity – Developing tomorrow’s female leaders, visit http://press.pwc.com.
  2. To find out more about PwC’s IWD activities, visit http://pwc.com/IWD.
  3. More thoughts on diversity can be found on PwC’s Gender Agenda blog at: http://pwc.blogs.com/gender_agenda.
  4. This report, Next generation diversity – Developing tomorrow’s female leaders,  leverages on PwC research conducted for Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace (http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/millennials-survey.jhtml) and PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study (http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/hr-management-services/publications/nextgen-study.jhtml)

 

PwC Woman in Work Index

  2000 2007 2011 2012
  Index Rank Index Rank Index Rank Index Rank
Norway 76.3 1 79.2 1 81.4 1 82.9 1
Denmark 74.0 3 78.4 2 75.7 2 76.3 2
Sweden 74.5 2 73.7 3 74.3 3 73.8 3
New Zealand 63.0 6 70.4 4 69.8 4 70.4 4
Finland 63.3 5 68.2 5 68.5 5 69.8 5
Canada 55.7 8 64.8 6 65.8 6 66.2 6
Switzerland 53.6 9 60.4 12 63.3 7 64.4 7
Germany 47.4 18 55.6 15 62.3 9 63.0 8
Australia 50.9 13 60.5 11 62.5 8 62.9 9
Belgium 46.7 19 56.0 14 61.5 11 62.6 10
Austria 48.1 17 54.7 19 60.3 13 61.6 11
Netherlands 48.5 15 55.4 16 57.6 17 60.8 12
France 51.7 12 60.6 10 61.0 12 60.4 13
Portugal 65.0 4 61.6 8 62.0 10 58.8 14
Poland 48.1 16 57.3 13 59.1 15 58.6 15
United States 59.5 7 61.0 9 58.5 16 58.3 16
Ireland 40.1 22 51.0 22 52.4 22 58.0 17
United Kingdom 49.1 14 55.3 17 56.4 19 57.7 18
Israel 45.9 20 51.4 21 56.6 18 57.7 19
Czech Republic 51.9 11 54.8 18 55.2 20 56.7 20
Hungary 53.1 10 62.5 7 59.5 14 56.6 21
Slovak Republic 44.8 21 49.6 23 50.3 23 49.3 22
Spain 26.3 26 52.5 20 53.1 21 47.8 23
Japan 27.9 25 35.5 26 39.5 25 42.1 24
Italy 31.8 23 43.9 24 41.4 24 41.5 25
Greece 28.9 24 41.2 25 37.4 26 33.9 26
Korea 23.9 27 30.2 27 28.1 27 30.5 27
OECD average 50.0   57.3   58.3   58.6  

 

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