Integrated Wisdom

Defending Millennials — Part 2

They’re open to diversity:

Millennials grew up in much more diverse environments than previous generations, and so it’s not surprising that they recognize the right of all people to be treated as equals regardless of their background—in other words, they look at people as individuals rather than as members of racial or gender groups. The take gender equality for granted, and it’s reported that about eight in 10 are comfortable working with people from different ethnicities and cultures. While they may not be the generations that wipes out social bias completely, they do seem to offer an opportunity for some big steps in that direction.

They seek balance between living and working:

While Boomers emphasized careers when they were young, Millennials want their careers to fit within their family and personal lives. They want jobs that offer flexibility, opportunities to work at home, and time for leisure — they value the latter quite a bit and they don’t want work to be central to their lives. One might think that their quest for balance reflects a more enlightened form of living, but it has led others to argue that Millennials lack a strong work ethic.

But there’s a reality out there that’s inconsistent with a lazy point of view. As much as Millennials claim they strive for leisure time, American workers today work longer hours than they did a few decades ago. So there’s actually less leisure time available to Millennials than there was for Boomers at the start of their careers. If that’s true, then their interest in leisure may actually reflect the fact that they have less of it, and so its more desirable to them, and something they have to struggle to obtain.

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