How Gen Z Is Transforming The Workforce and Demanding D&I

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The nature of work is evolving, partially due to the emergence of Generation Z.

Born between 1997 – 2012, Gen Z is one of the most ethnically diverse populations and is estimated to be 40 percent non-white by 2061 in the UK. Additionally, they are the first demographic to be immersed in technology as digital natives. Their exposure to different cultures, people, and experiences online has shaped their collective view of the world, influencing their compassion and empathy for others. As a result, Gen Z has built a reputation of unapologetically wielding its power not only for fun but for social justice. 

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These beliefs pour into every facet of their lives, especially in their careers. They represent 25 percent of the workforce, and their stance on diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of their professional decisions. Growing up, they observed older generations dedicate their lives to working hard in unfulfilling jobs and economic strain. Consequently, they’ve decided to forge uncharted territory in work. As independent and open-minded thinkers, these digital savants dance to the beat of their drum, disrupting old-aged traditions and instead opting for careers centered on their values, work-life balance, and healthy working environments.

Generation Z values diversity from top to bottom  

Diversity and inclusion have become the topic of discussion lately, but this generation is demanding more than just buzzwords. In 2020 when COVID-19 and the tragic murder of George Floyd demonstrated the layers of inequity for Black people around the globe, Gen Z took steps to amplify their voices. Not only in the criminal justice system but economically as well. Honing their power across social media, they are not afraid to hold corporations accountable, demanding their initiatives serve as authentic, long-standing change and not simply lip service. 

When it comes to working, data shows 56 percent would think twice about taking a job offer from a company lacking diverse leadership and professional staff. Moreover, their expectation of diversity goes beyond race and extends to gender identity, socio-economic backgrounds, and opportunities for those with disabilities–all to encourage a wider pool of perspectives and innovation.  

Gen Z seeks work that balances with their lives

For Gen Z, maintaining healthy mental health is more challenging than in previous generations. According to a Deloitte survey, an estimated 50 percent of Gen Z respondents said they were stressed and anxious frequently. With high work demands and empty as a leading cause of this factor, this group tends to lean more towards employers that support autonomy, remote work, and flexibility. And those that do not risk losing potential talent, with 40 percent of Gen Zers stating they would leave their jobs without another one lined up.

Gen Z expects a healthy work environment from employers

Gen Z is unequivocally turning antiquated workplace rules on their heads. Growing up shortly after a recession combined with the economic turmoil of COVID-19 and inflation, similarly to their direct predecessors, they often live paycheck to paycheck. While economic concerns are high on their priority list, interestingly, financial reward is not as important as company culture. From openly sharing wages with colleagues to expecting HR professionals transparency around professional development, Gen Z needs jobs that are truly progressive across the board.

Call To Action

There is no other time to act than now as Gen-Zs have all necessary tools embedded in the social media to take the bull by the horn and claim their seats at the top. 

It’s time to help amplify the voice of the Gen-Zs by providing mental health support, engaging leaders of companies to stay committed to Diversity and Inclusion by infusing positive tenets into their policy and most importantly create awareness about the experiences of the Gen-Zs via our social media platforms. 

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