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To Hire and Retain Gen Z Women, Offer Them the Opportunity to Make a Difference

8 February, 2023
In The News

Want to hire more Gen Z workers? Offer them the opportunity to make a meaningful impact.

The companies that offer that opportunity will be the ones that attract the most Gen Z workers, especially young women, according to Boston-area women in the business, nonprofit, and education sectors.

Gen Z comprises 32% of the population, and of the young women in the generation, over 50% of them want to be their own bosses one day, according to a survey by nonprofit Girls With Impact. Jennifer Openshaw, CEO of Girls With Impact, said that Gen Z is a “purpose-driven population.” To launch their presence in Boston, Girls With Impact hosted an event in partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Boston at the InterContinental Boston Wednesday. The event brought together leaders in business, education and community organizations focused on bridging the opportunity gap and driving economic growth.

The event focused on how to invest in the next generation of women leaders. The way to effectively invest in young women leaders, Openshaw said, is to pay attention to social impact issues that Gen Z care about, such as mental health and racism.

Openshaw opened discussion with Sharra Owens-Schwartz, the vice president of inclusion, diversity, and equity at Rocket Software, about the importance of building a culture of belonging in the workplace.

“We need to bolster the confidence of young women entering our offices, and to do that we need to break down the barriers and the biases that we have in our in our organizations,” Owens-Schwartz said.

Girls With Impact is a nonprofit organization that puts young women ages 14-24 in a free 10-week training program that partners them with mentors and has them develop a business venture. The event highlighted two young women who went through the program, and came out with a "new sense of confidence," said Kerri Huang, a 15-year-old student Newton North High School.

Huang said that the most beneficial thing that women in business can do for young girls like her is to "tell their stories."

"A lot of girls in high school, they know what they want to become, but they might not know the pathways there. So, speaking out about your own journey and how you reached the place you are now is really inspiring, and will open up a lot of pathways for a lot of young women," Huang said, addressing the crowd of women leaders...Continue reading