A recent survey from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that men younger than 40 are more likely to be supportive of women in the workplace as well as support work-life balance, work flexibility, and diversity than their older counterparts.
By no means does this survey indicate the end of sexism or a general lack of diversity in the average American workplace. It does, however, indicate that, for the first time, the large part of a generation of men are willing to acknowledge that these problems do exist. More importantly, the majority of men under the age of 40 seem far more willing to put in the work to make improvements for their co-workers.
To collect the data, the BCG spoke to more than 17,500 respondents at companies in 21 countries about the challenges women face at works, as well as their thoughts on 39 corrective gender diversity measures for companies. While men older than 40 prioritized “leadership transparency” and “commitment”, women of all ages and men younger than 40 emphasized their desire for parental leave, on-site childcare, and other measures that support work-life balance.
The survey also indicated that millennial men were very open to supporting flexible scheduling by focusing less on the number of hours a person puts in and more on how much work they are actually getting done. Younger men were also more receptive towards hiring candidates from less traditional recruiting pools and even receiving bias reduction training to help improve workplace diversity.
So why are millennial men so much more open to change than older guys? Many believe that this attitude stems from the fact that 46 percent of millennials were raised by moms who returned to work before they turned three, compared to about 25 percent of baby boomers. This may have made millennial men more comfortable with the idea of women in the workplace, which is why they are willing to put in the work to build a better workplace for the future.
Interestingly, this whole survey came about because of employee reviews from the Boston Consulting Group from several years ago, when the company found that women were, on average, 10 percent less satisfied with their job at BCG than men. To BCG’s credit, the company has worked to do its part to not only fight gender equality in their company but to fight against workplace misogyny all around the world.