Gen Z women – The first to have it all?
It’s a commonly held belief that women can’t “have it all” But for the first time, it looks like this might be changing for Gen Z women
It’s a commonly held belief that women can’t “have it all” – that is, a successful career, a fulfilling personal life, and a healthy work-life balance. But for the first time, it looks like this might be changing for Gen Z women, thanks to the rise of hybrid work and the changing roles of men in the home.
Hybrid work, or the combination of in-office and remote work, is becoming increasingly popular as organisations adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift towards hybrid work allows for greater flexibility in the workplace, giving employees the ability to choose when and where they work. For Gen Z women, this can be particularly beneficial.
Young women today are often faced with the challenge of balancing their professional goals with the demands of personal and family responsibilities. Hybrid work gives them the opportunity to structure their work in a way that works best for them, whether that means working from home to care for children or working remotely to avoid long commutes. By providing this flexibility, employers can help Gen Z women achieve a better work-life balance and be more successful in their careers.
Changing expectations of men
But it’s not just hybrid work that is helping Gen Z women “have it all.” Men are also starting to step up and take responsibility for their share in emotional labour, the often invisible and unpaid work that goes into maintaining a household and caring for others. This includes a wish to be actively involved in childcare and household management.The State of the World’s Fathers Report suggests that 85% of new dads want to spend more time at home with their new borns.
This generation are also assuming their domestic responsibilities such as grocery shopping, meal planning, organising schedules, as well as providing emotional support and care in a way that previous gnerations didn’t. Historically, emotional labour has fallen disproportionately on women, with many women feeling the burden of being responsible for the emotional needs of their families and communities.
But more and more men are beginning to recognise the importance of sharing in these tasks and supporting their partners in their careers. By taking on more domestic responsibilities and providing emotional support, men can free up time and energy for Gen Z women to focus on their own goals and ambitions.
Building on other generations
Men didn’t suddenly start to do the chores. Gen X and Millennial parents lead the way to some degree. Emotional labour is no longer dismissed in households, and domestic chores are more likely to be shared than at any other point in history. These parents changed the way homes were structured in order for gender equality come through.
The impact of Millennial dads taking on a more active role in parenting and household responsibilities can be positive for families and society. By challenging traditional gender roles and expectations, Millennial dads can help create more equal and fulfilling relationships within families and contribute to a more inclusive and supportive society.
The benefits of men stepping up in this way are significant. Studies have shown that when men take on a more equal share of domestic tasks and emotional labour, women are more likely to succeed in their careers and feel more satisfied with their relationships. This can be especially important for Gen Z women, who may be trying to navigate the challenges of the workplace and establish themselves in their careers.
Greater progress needed
Of course, it’s important to recognise that the struggle for work-life balance and gender equality is far from over. Gen Z women still face a number of challenges, including a lack of representation in leadership positions, discrimination and bias, and a lack of access to mentors and sponsors. But the rise of hybrid work and men stepping up to share in emotional labour are important steps toward creating a more equitable and supportive workplace for women.
So, is it finally possible for women to “have it all”? It’s difficult to say, as the concept of “having it all” is subjective and can mean different things to different people. But for Gen Z women, the combination of hybrid work and men stepping up to share in emotional labour may provide the opportunity to achieve a level of success and fulfillment that was previously out of reach.
As we continue to advocate for and support the advancement of women in the workplace, it’s important to recognise the role that hybrid work and men sharing in emotional labour can play in creating a more equitable and supportive environment for all. Gen Z women may be the first generation to truly “have it all,” and it’s up to all of us to do our part in making it a reality.
Contact us now to get support for the women in your workplace with one of our Coaching or Mentoring Programmes.