How generational shifts impact relationships and workplaces

Times certainly are changing. From the uprising of women and men in support of the #MeToo movement to the outcry of students on a mission to end gun violence, it’s safe to say there is a generational shift happening and it’s causing the equality pendulum to swing.

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Twenty odd years ago, not many would dream of speaking out against sex and power dynamics we see daily - and if they did, not much would have changed. Fast forward to 2019 and it’s hard to keep up with the rate and pace of this revolution.

Currently, our society is made up of five generations:

·       Generation Z: Born 1996 onwards

·       Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995

·       Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976

·       Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964

·       Traditionalists: Born 1945 and before

Generational shifts

Millennials have grown up in a different world to the generations that preceded them. Laws around sexual harassment are widespread, the gender pay gap is being challenged furiously and social media has given us an accessible platform from which to speak out. To have been brought up in the midst of this revolution of change, means millennials are more inclined to take it for granted that men and women can work side by side in the workplace and that women will be treated with the same amount of respect,– and opportunity,as men. This stands in contrast to Generation X, who may have been more likely to sweep sexual harassment allegations under the rug. While many a millennial would be stunned by the flood of headlines today pertaining to harassment in the workplace, this wasn’t always the case for previous generations. This further emphasises the shift that has taken place away from what was once perceived – and tolerated –  as acceptable treatment of gender.

Generations in life

When it comes to relationships, recent studies show that - perhaps surprisingly - millennials have fewer sexual partners than baby boomers and those in Generation X. Perhaps it is because unlike the generations that preceded them, the opportunity to make informed decisions about their sexual health and well-being is becoming the norm, as opposed to the exception.

Gender norms and societal relationships have seen great changes in recent times. Millennial men are more inclined to get involved in the home than men from previous generations, for example, and a recent survey of millennial women shows 83% of respondents are focused on owning their own business as having their own family. In terms of sexual identity, a survey by GLAAD reports that 20% of millennials identify as LGBTQ, up from just 12% of Generation X and 7% of Baby Boomers. It’s therefore safe to say that the diverse perspectives, motivations and needs of these generations are changing the way we view work and our relationships - both personal and professional.

The era of change

The economic, social and technological revolutions that are doing so much to promote equality, require more flexible workplace environments. We look at this trend as an important snapshot of the positive steps society has already taken toward a more equality-driven world, but there is much still to be done to bridge the generational gaps that exist inside our organisations, communities and - of course - families.

However, never has society had so much freedom to explore their sexual, professional and personal needs and identities and we as an organisation are proud to be active in facilitating this vital dialogue.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019
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by Serenity in Leadership
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