The Care and Keeping of Women

By Maria Forbes
June 10, 2015

Small business may have an advantage retaining millennial women. We have the great pleasure of working with women owned businesses, women who are mentors and community leaders. Like all of our clients, these women focus on commitment and a strong sense of individual purpose as they share an organizational mission to serve their industries. Recent studies are revealing interesting information about the American workforce as we head toward 2025. You may have read the projections; approximately 75% will be millennial and half of these will be women. Leaders are encouraged to consider some of the feedback by millennial women, about their preferences for sustaining a position. The Human Resources industry is learning what it will take to retain millennial women. In a recent study by ICEDR, Global Human Resources development organization, there are five key things these women desire. Notably, every one of them occurs in the small business environment.
Millennial women want their passions and pursuits to be acknowledged. Our small business leaders want to hear the voices of their teams. Most of the employees have a direct connection to executive management. The voice at the top has plagued small business leaders for many years and increasing numbers are investing in the development of employee personal and organizational strengths that will align with leadership goals and enable a recognizable contribution to the growth plan.
Millennial women want to be challenged. They want new experiences and opportunities they feel are important, they want to learn and grow. The feedback suggests multiple ways to advance. Small businesses owners will tell you they are accustomed to creativity. There are often times a demand for members to “wear multiple hats”, and every member should have a role in improving and enhancing business growth. Challenge is a natural part of the small business environment.
Millennial women want to be connected. Small business cultures can be challenged to contain engagement! In a smaller culture, people see one another often, and since there are fewer people in a smaller space, it takes much less effort to share and engage in one another’s passions at work and outside of work. Our leaders and their teams share their special interests and rally support. They do this as part of team meetings, personal celebrations such as birthdays and over long lunches and social gatherings that enable people to share their interests, develop networks and participate together. Company participation in special interest events offers opportunity for market exposure.
Millennial women want to be inspired. They want to do meaningful work and they want women role models. Our clients have laid the foundation of their companies over years of personal investment in growth. They have integrated purpose, a higher mission, into their organizations. They work to understand the strengths of their teams and design cohesive efforts toward achieving a shared vision that engages the strengths of every member in their higher purpose.
Millennial women want to lead and innovate. Leaders who hired job holders, said support is all they needed, but learned over time, there is no room in a small organization for limited task oriented positions. Support positions that allow members to wait for work to come in the door and have no accountable contribution to developing client relationships are simply non-existent. Small business leaders are strong competitors and they look for new technology, improved process, and for service advantages that will stand out in their markets. They are innovating and adapting to the cultural changes in the professional services workplace together. They are encouraging their teams to step out of their comfort zone, and be a part of the growth plan.
When you consider the five desirable aspects of a role for millennial women, small business environment may offer a good option to grow with a company, over the long term. Call us at Firepower Teams to learn more!

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