Millennial women are shaking up the world.
A new study conducted by Create and Cultivate revealed an interesting phenomenon among them. The team interviewed (with the help of BuzzMG) 400 women and asked them a series of questions. The findings suggested that most millennial women prioritize family over career or friends, 55 percent already have a side hustle while 62 percent are employed full-time. To top it off, 83 percent of respondents desire to own their own business. These millennial women are ready and able to become entrepreneurs, but why? What is pushing this sudden new movement and should our bosses be scared?
Spoiler alert: They should be.
How Did We Get Here?
Millennial women have an edge. They are part of the largest generation currently in the workforce. Sure, they still have a long way to go. Currently, only 4 percent of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, and many boardrooms still have a startlingly large lack of diversity in gender, race, or otherwise. Plus, the gender wage gap is most apparent when looking at managerial roles; women are paid 83 cents to the dollar compared to men. However, millennial women are more educated — 39 percent of women in 2013 had college degrees — and are more adapted to technology than other previous generation.
And although we are often seen as youngsters, we’re really not. We’re growing up, just like the rest of the world, and are suddenly reaching that age where we care about starting a family. Many of us may already have one or two children, and our parents are also reaching that tender age of retirement.
In a new Transamerica survey, 14 percent of millennials cited supporting parents as a current financial priority — double the rate of Generation X workers.
What does this mean? Millennial women are overworked, underpaid and overqualified. As a result, this demographic is leading the entrepreneurial charge. Why work for a business that only sees you as a “cog in the machine” when you can do what you love and work for yourself?
Millennial women have an edge. They are part of the largest generation currently in the workforce.
Of course, I don’t suggest packing up your desk and yelling, ‘I quit’ today. Many women in the Create and Cultivate study said they would need about $10,000 to be able to start their own business. Although that’s only a fraction of what most owe in student debt, it’s still a lot of money that many do not have access to — yet. We need to pace ourselves, and consider other factors that can help achieve the ultimate goal of working for ourselves.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Start learning now. Running and owning a business is no easy task, and things such as payroll are new territories for most. How the heck do you file quarterly taxes? And what if you want to hire friends? How much should you charge for the first round of products or services? What about marketing and advertising? Luckily, there are plenty of reliable resources available online.
You will also need to learn to budget properly as a small business owner and always keep your personal and business expenses separate. For many (myself included), budgeting is no easy task when there is little extra money to spend. However, saving that small amount can be the difference between surviving a couple of bad months and closing up shop.
It’s also important to know that the first five years of a business are the hardest. They have a fairly high failure rate of 50 percent, according to the Small Business Association. But don’t let that number scare you. There are millions of businesses that succeed every year and yours could be the next true success story.
Lastly, support many of the other amazing female small business owners out there. According to the latest Census data (from 2012), women own 36.3 percent of small businesses, and many of them are women of color. That number is only expected to grow by 50 percent in the next five years, and millennial women could be the next big push to bring it over the tipping point.
No matter how tired and rundown you might feel, let this bit of information be your daily reminder that millennial women have a major impact on the job world and we can all change our paths. Even if you are years away from owning your own business, millennial women are still powerful forces. Don’t give up, and make it happen!
Katie McBeth is a freelance writer out of Boise, ID. She enjoys reading teen novels, eating mac ‘n cheese, and attending indie concerts in small bars. Her love for reading is only trumped by her love for cats, of which she has three. She also has a dog, and he helps keep her grounded. You can follow her animal and writing adventures on Instagram or Twitter: @ktmcbeth.