Women, Millennials, and the Future Workplace

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) released new research on workplace policies and practices that empower women and Millennials, who together constitute the majority of the U.S. workforce. The research study, Women, Millennials, and the Future Workplace, includes recommendations for businesses to empower, retain, and profit from both cohorts simultaneously. The project was funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and has been featured in a recent op-ed.

The report finds that women and Millennials often struggle to conform to traditional business structures, which were not designed to meet their unique needs. It finds that workplaces with flexible work policies and a culture of transparency and collaboration are ideal for women, who comprise nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and the Millennial Generation, which has overtaken Baby Boomers to become the largest generational cohort in the workforce.

Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of GIWPS, said “This report employs a distinct approach by studying genders and generations simultaneously. Its findings—that women and Millennials are empowered by the same workplace policies—should encourage companies to alter their practices to benefit the majority of their employees.”

The study finds that women and Millennials excel when they have high levels of autonomy and flexibility over when and where they do their work. Yet, both groups also benefit from structured protocols, which clearly outline company policies on topics such as flexible work schedules, parental leave, and disconnecting—instead of addressing them on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, the study shows that women and Millennials favor transparent and cooperative office environments, which promote collaborative decision-making and facilitate communication between leadership and employees.

“We recognize that women and Millennials are critical to the success of today’s workforce,” said Anne Finucane, Vice Chair, Bank of America.  “We continue to enjoy our partnership with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and this report offers organizations, regardless of sector, some key considerations to building a stronger, more inclusive workplace that will ultimately create shared success and advance our economy.”

Tricia Correia, GIWPS’ Bank of America Fellow on Women & the Economy, executed the study, which was informed by a series of interviews with professional employees in five cities across the United States.

A full copy of the study can be found here.  

About the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security examines and highlights the roles and experiences of women in peace and security worldwide through cutting edge research, timely global convenings and strategic partnerships. The Institute is led by Melanne Verveer, who previously served as the inaugural U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues. Located in Washington, D.C., the Institute leverages Georgetown University's global reach to connect academia and practice, pioneer evidence-based and policy-oriented analysis, and inspire the next generation of leaders. The Women & Economy Project works to fill critical research gaps and develop actionable recommendations for increasing women’s economic empowerment. 

About Bank of America Charitable Foundation

At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocate groups, such as community and environmental organizations, in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.