Jeff Bezos, Move Over: Gen Z is Driven by World Change and Innovation... But is Consumed by Mental Health and Job Worries, Says Girls With Impacts Special Gen Z Report

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Workplace and educator recommendations include earlier career skills training, digital mental health help, improved mentor matching and "intrapreneurship" to harness talent and drive growth

Girls With Impact's Special Report offers recommendations for employers, educators

Gen Z is overtaking millennials with a clear focus on world-change and innovation. It's time to harness this generation to drive purpose and growth.

Although Gen Z – those just now entering the workforce – are worried about job security and a stable paycheck, this generation is overwhelmingly purpose-driven.

A new report issued by the non-profit education organization Girls With Impact with the support of the S&P Global Foundation finds that Gen Z wants a future centered on world change and innovation.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) say they want to “make difference to a cause they care about” and 60% wants to “personally create something innovative.”

The study -- What’s Inside the Minds of Gen Z? – was conducted September 2019 among 500 men and women, ages 13-22.

“It’s no longer about just getting a paycheck,” said CEO Jennifer Openshaw. “Gen Z is hungry for purpose in the work – the sense that they are having a larger impact on the world -- even if they’re employed by someone else”


When asked about their top worries, being successful and getting a job ranked first and second (69% and 59% respectively).

More worrisome is that mental health ranked third, ahead of body image, grades, or getting into college.

“Mental health appeared more prominent among women and transgender populations than men,” added Openshaw. “This explains why we see girls developing ventures focused on depression and stress – and why mental health is a front and center issue.”

“At Johnson & Johnson, we offer a mental health app accessible not only to employees but their family members,” says Fernando Salinas, head of global Human Resources for Johnson & Johnson’s commercial business. “This digital access is key.”


The report also highlighted three key gender gaps: leadership, compensation expectations and entrepreneurship.

Fewer women (28%) than men (36%) expect to be a leader of an organization.

Women are also more likely to expect a lower salary by age 40 with 74% expecting to earn under $100,000 compared by just 64% of men.

Finally, fewer women (43%) than men (47%) expect to be an entrepreneur. Over 50% of those identifying as transgender/gender non-confirming expect to become an entrepreneur.


When asked what would most improve their confidence, Gen Z’s answers fell into two primary categories: Personal image and professional skills.

After weight loss (45%), Gen Z said that removing acne (31%), public speaking (31%) and launching their own business (29%) would have the most impact – ahead of having a role model or mentor or even winning a competition.


The report offers a host of recommendations for employers and educators including offering mental health education and outlets, harnessing the desire for innovation through corporate “intrapreneurship” and improving mentor matching.

To download the full report, sponsored by the S&P Global Foundation, visit girlswithimpact/GenZ.
Girls With Impact is the nation’s only live online entrepreneurship program for teen girls, offered year-round. The 10-week, after-school “mini-MBA” moves girls from ideation to a business plan, driving improvements in confidence, leadership, college readiness and professional skills for success. Watch this.

S&P Global Foundation is the charitable giving arm of S&P Global, which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies, and governments to make decisions with confidence. S&P Global believes that an investment in women is an investment in us all; learn more about the #ChangePays campaign by visiting here.

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Ellen Manger
Girls With Impact, Inc.
+1 (914) 522-7966

Josephine Panzera
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since: 02/2017
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