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What really drives Gen Z?

Jennifer Openshaw

What’s Inside the Minds of Gen Z? Those just now entering the workforce – are worried about job security and a stable paycheck, this generation is overwhelmingly purpose-driven. Contributor Jennifer Openshaw

A new report issued by the non-profit education organisation Girls With Impact with the support of the S&P Global Foundation finds that Gen Z wants a future centered on world change and innovation.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say they want to “make difference to a cause they care about” and 60 percent wants to “personally create something innovative.”

The study — What’s Inside the Minds of Gen Z? – was conducted September 2019 among 500 men and women, ages 13-22.

“It’s no longer about just getting a paycheck,” said CEO Jennifer Openshaw. “Gen Z is hungry for purpose in the work – the sense that they are having a larger impact on the world — even if they’re employed by someone else”

Top worries: Job security, mental health
When asked about their top worries, being successful and getting a job ranked first and second (69 percent and 59 percent respectively).

More worrisome is that mental health ranked third, ahead of body image, grades, or getting into college.

“Mental health appeared more prominent among women and transgender populations than men,” added Openshaw. “This explains why we see girls developing ventures focused on depression and stress – and why mental health is a front and center issue.” 

Gender Gaps
The report also highlighted three key gender gaps: leadership, compensation expectations and entrepreneurship.

Fewer women (28 percent) than men (36 percent) expect to be a leader of an organization. 

Women are also more likely to expect a lower salary by age 40 with 74 percent expecting to earn under $100,000 compared by just 64 percent of men.

Finally, fewer women (43 percent) than men (47 percent) expect to be an entrepreneur. Over 50 percent of those identifying as transgender/gender non-confirming expect to become an entrepreneur.

Confidence drivers
When asked what would most improve their confidence, Gen Z’s answers fell into two primary categories: Personal image and professional skills.

After weight loss (45 percent), Gen Z said that removing acne (31 percent), public speaking (31 percent) and launching their own business (29 percent) would have the most impact – ahead of having a role model or mentor or even

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