Girls With Impact National Report Highlights COVID's Impact on GenZ
12/01/2020

GenZ is experiencing greater mental health and physical worries, causing more to turn to social media and alter their living arrangements.

Online PR News – 01-December-2020 – New York, NY – The weight of COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head on GenZ, who say they are experiencing greater mental health and work worries, causing more to turn to social media and alter their living arrangements.

At the same time, GenZ’s tremendous focus on social justice and activism is causing them to place racism as a top worry – something for employers to take note.

While job security remains their single biggest worry – on par with 2019’s findings – the report saw a closing of the gender gap in areas that include compensation, leadership and company ownership.

For example, when asked about their confidence of becoming an entrepreneur, GenZ women showed a 12 point jump – up to 55% vs 43% last year.

“More than any generation, GenZ is feeling the brunt of COVID-19 – and will for the foreseeable future,” said Jennifer Openshaw, CEO of Girls With Impact. “But they realize that the only way to address and solve the enormous challenges facing our country – from racism to climate change – to be their own boss.”

With a focus on COVID-19, Girls With Impact’s 4th annual report – presented by U.S. Bank and co-sponsored by Forcepoint -- compared last year’s findings to this year’s, examining their outlook, worries, confidence and workplace preferences.

The report finds a radical shift in GenZ’s priorities due to COVID-19 and other crises, from their desire to tackle racism to college and financial plans.

While getting a job and being successful still rank among the top 5 concerns compared to 2019, Covid and the focus on race has put new pressures on this generation.

More than any generation GenZ is feeling the brunt of COVID-19 – and will for the foreseeable future said Jennifer Openshaw CEO of Girls With Impact. But they realize that the only way to address and solve the enormous challenges facing our country – from racism to climate change – to be their own boss.

Mental health worries have spiked 14% since 2019, ranking third as a top concern – perhaps the result of seeing family members lose jobs.

Worries about grades also rose, up 20% over the previous year. When asked what would most increase their confidence, Genz women placed greater focus on weight with 56% saying it would most impact their confidence vs 50% in 2019. Similar trends were found among men and their focus on acne during the pandemic.

When asked about the changes they expect to make as a result of COVID-19 – from job to college changes -- 59% of GenZers say they are spending more time on social media and 49% on streaming video this year. Nearly 30% expect to live with their parents for the foreseeable future.

GenZ is especially purpose driven – a fact that was reinforced amid the focus on racial justice. When asked about their single most pressing concern, racism more than doubled (133%) over 2019.

“These findings reinforce why U.S, Bank is committed to developing and advancing the careers of women and professionals of color through partnerships like the one with Girls With Impact,” said Reba Dominski, executive vice president and Chief Social Responsibility Officer for U.S. Bank and president of the U.S. Bank Foundation.

To a greater extent than last year, this generation wants to create something innovative or world-changing – and more of them expect to be entrepreneurs running their own companies – up from 46% in 2019 to 53% in 2020. Far fewer expect they’ll make it as leaders within established organizations with a staggering 64% saying they are unsure or unlikely of ever becoming one.

“As business leaders at the forefront of innovation who are responsible for reshaping an industry, we recognize that in order to drive meaningful change, we must value diversity of thought,” said Ben Tao, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Forcepoint, the world’s largest privately owned cybersecurity firm. “Today, more than ever, it is paramount for organizations to provide the tools and resources to prepare GenZ for bright careers of the future.

Attracting GenZ – and women -- in the Workplace

Confidence building moves – Aside from addressing image concerns, more women say that ‘launching a business” would most improve their confidence – 35% vs 24% in 2019. Men saw just a one point increase (34% vs 33% last year).

Job selection – GenZ shifted priorities from a short travel time and mentoring in 2019 to remote working and flexible hours – with greater attention to volunteer opportunities.

Team mates and diversity – When asked about priorities at work, GenZ again flipped from 2019, when an older, experienced team ranked #1. In 2020, respect, a great manager, and team diversity ranked 1, , and respectively – with women placing priority on team diversity over men.

Gender differences on the comp front -- GenZ women continue to have a lower compensation expectation – and the gender gap in earnings expectations has widened – with 39% of men expecting to earn over $100K by 40 vs 27% of women.

The report offers recommendations for employers and educators, including offering mental health education and outlets, harnessing the desire for innovation through corporate “intrapreneurship” and improving mentor matching.

To download the full report, sponsored by the U.S. Bank Foundation, https://www.girlswithimpact.org/genz-2020

About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp, with more than 70,000 employees and $540 billion in assets as of September 30, 2020, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. Visit U.S. Bank at http://www.usbank.com or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

About Forcepoint
Forcepoint is the global cybersecurity leader for user and data protection. Forcepoint’s behavior-based solutions adapt to risk in real-time and are delivered through a converged security platform that protects network users and cloud access, prevents confidential data from leaving the corporate network, and eliminates breaches caused by insiders.

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