Most employers and managers would agree that Gen Z is the most diverse generation in the workforce today. And, well, this is true according to Pew Research Center. They mentioned that within the Gen Z individuals, “52% are non-Hispanic white, one-in-four Gen Zers are Hispanic, 14% are Black, 6% are Asian and 5% are another race or multiple races” (Pew Research, 2020). With those numbers in mind there are two apparent conclusions:
- Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation.
- Gen Z is paving the way to making inclusive changes within the workplace.
With these thoughts in mind, maybe the question of “Okay, what are they expecting from workplace then?” is popping up. Well, there are many things that Gen Z is looking forward to, but two considerations stand out:
- Company Culture
- Inclusivity or more specifically: Gender Neutralization in Documentation and Language
The Importance of Inclusivity.
What is a company’s culture today, and how will it change when more and more Gen Zers are employed? As previously mentioned, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation the workforce has yet to see, even more so than Millennials. Gen Zers expect to come into a job where there is a culture of trust, acceptance and an open place for communication (Monster, 2020). These are what support diversity and create value in lives.
However, beware of fear or blame that come in and totally run the diversity train into a wall. Meaning, there must be an understanding of what diversity is, and what it looks like in the workplace. These also shut people down and create a lack of interest in work. That is the exact opposite of what these individuals are looking for. According to Monster, an organization that strives to make the workplace better than they found it said, “83% report being actively engaged when their organization fosters an inclusive work environment.” (Monster, 2020). So, this question remains; does the workplace diversity problem actually emanate from the company culture? This is something that every employer, manager, leader in any organization should question. If they don’t, Gen Z will.
Inclusivity should be implemented in any place, and all of the time. Gen Z, specifically, is focused on a call for inclusion that involves a more gender neutralized language in documentation and in the workplace. According to PEW Research, “6-in-ten Gen Zers (59%) say forms or online profiles should include additional gender options.” (Pew Research, 2020). With this statistic, it is evident that Gen Z is more than likely expecting documentation to include more than just “man” and “woman” in personal profiles or any forms where these questions might be asked. If businesses or companies want to thrive, they need to create a space where everyone feels accepted. Gender neutral language in the workplace is similar to that of neutrality in documentation. Encourage a language where everyone can feel valued and that they belong. If this consideration has not come to mind, it is time to understand, learn and implement.
Parker, Kim, and Ruth Igielnik. “What We Know About Gen Z So Far.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research, 14 May 2020, www.pewsocialtrends.org/essay/on-the-cusp-of-adulthood-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far/.
“What Workforce Diversity Means For Gen Z.” Monster, 8 June 2020, hiring.monster.com/employer-resources/recruiting-strategies/workforce-planning/workforce-diversity-for-millennials/.