Gen Z makes strong female work mentors a next generation necessity, finds MYOB
06 Mar 2019
Women want strong female mentors in the workplace and Generation Z* will be the ones to make that a reality, according to fresh research from MYOB.
While half of the female workforce (49%) see having a strong female mentor at work as important, 58% of Australia’s up and coming employees (aged 15-24) say it’s important, compared with 38% of the general population.
The research, which surveyed 1000 employed Australians in time for International Women’s Day (8 March), also found 53% of Gen Z respondents said having visible women in senior or executive roles was the most effective way to build diversity in their organisation.
MYOB General Manager Marketing and Direct Sales, Natalie Feehan, said the findings were a clear indication that the up and coming workforce want access to, and expect to see, more women in senior roles.
“The attitude and expectations of Gen Z in the workplace will be the driving force in turning around inequality,” said Ms Feehan.
“This younger generation will not ask for gender equality, they will demand it. They have grown up in more diverse environments, at home, at school, at home and in sports. They fundamentally understand the benefits of diversity, and that diversity of thinking can lead to better outcomes.
“It is encouraging, and not surprising, to see that younger generations expect to see more women in senior roles and want access to more strong female mentors.”
Shannon Tresider, Development Manager at MYOB, is a mentor to MYOB team members, including those inducted into MYOB’s DevelopHer program, a fully paid internship for women seeking a career in software development.
Shannon believes offering impartial advice and personal experience is the most important part of a mentoring role.
“Mentoring requirements are highly personal. When I came back to work after having my daughter, there were factors I hadn’t even considered while I was pregnant. Knowing what I know now makes me want to help women in similar situations get back into the workforce, change career or achieve whatever they personally want to achieve,” she said.
“Having an authentic conversation is the crux of being a mentor. By working out what part of your personal experience is most relevant, you’re able to ask the right questions and help direct a person along the path that’ll most make them happy.
“The best mentors are the ones who can assist in the areas you want to grow,” said Ms Tresider.
MYOB Business Analyst Tara Whitehead joined the company in 2017 and engaged Shannon as her mentor six months in. Since then, Tara has changed career path in the company.
“Having a mentor has made a huge difference for me, both on a personal level and for my career development,” said Ms Whitehead.
“My mentor is a sounding board when I need career advice – whether that’s negotiating salary, navigating complex decisions and situations or making my personal life fit with my professional life. Shannon was pivotal when I made the massive career leap from marketing to cyber security. She always has my back, and I know it is a relationship that will continue to grow.”
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Ms Feehan hosts a Leadership of Fools podcast examining an exploration of gender, featuring Executive General Manager Digital, Marketing, People and Culture at Vicinity Centres, Simone Carroll, and former Survivor contestant and Partner for Client Management at Affirmative Investment Management, Kate Temby. The podcast will be available on 8 March and can be found here.
*Generation Z refers to those born between 1995-2015
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MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across four strategic segments – Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs), Practices (accountants, advisers and bookkeepers), Enterprise (larger businesses) and Payments. It provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. MYOB is committed to ongoing innovation and delivering efficiencies and growth opportunities for its growing client base across Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit http://investors.myob.com.au/Investors or follow @MYOB on Twitter.
About the research
The research was conducted by Gundabluey on behalf of MYOB between the 19 and 26 February 2019 and gathered the responses of 1014 employed Australians.