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4 Generations of Women Are in the Workforce: How to Support Them?

In the wake of Women's History month, it seems timely to reflect on the strides women have made in the professional landscape and acknowledge the unique contributions of women across generations.

A recent survey conducted by Fe League, an inclusive community of leaders across various industries committed to supporting women, sheds light on how four distinct generations of women coexist in the workforce for the first time in modern history and thrive.

The modern workplace has undergone significant changes, and women of all ages adapt to this dynamic landscape with resilience and determination. Fe conducted the survey to gain insights into the expectations, aspirations, and challenges of 300 women from all four generations—Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Key Findings For All Generations

Fe's survey highlighted the evolving perspectives on work-life balance. The survey shows that balancing work and personal life is the most significant personal definition of success for all generations.

While progress is evident, the survey also identified persistent challenges, including pay inequity and lack of transparency in salary structure, limited access to mentorship and insufficient leadership development programs.

Acknowledging these obstacles is essential for fostering an environment in which all women can thrive, regardless of age or background.

How Employers Can Better Support Women

The survey’s findings revealed three ways employers can better support women in the workplace:

1) Mentorship Programs and Networking for Professional Engagement

The survey unequivocally underlines the critical role that mentorship plays in women's career trajectories. Women across all generations hold mentorship in high regard as a driving force for growth, sharing experiences, and cultivating a sense of community. The strong intergenerational connectivity reflects an unwavering commitment to supporting each other and fostering an ageless mentorship ecosystem.

Companies should consider offering mentorship, reverse mentorship (where young employees provide mentorship on tech aspects), networking opportunities, and one-on-one coaching to empower women. Mentors and coaches, in particular, are indispensable in building women's confidence, helping them devise strategies to surmount barriers, and offering bespoke guidance that is tailored to individual situations.

2) Leadership Development and Training Programs

Consider establishing formal learning and development budgets with a trusted network of partners for employees to choose from, including partners with expertise in bridging specific knowledge gaps for women and other underrepresented groups. It is also important to provide different types of training, as some people prefer face-to-face, and others prefer online or self-paced in order to protect their work-life balance

3) Pay Inequity and Lack of Transparency in Salary Structure

The gender pay gap in the US has barely improved over the past two decades according to PEW research. Women of color earn the least compared to white men. Employers can conduct regular salary audits to identify pay gaps, promote equitable pay practices, and use gender-neutral language to eliminate biases.

4) Improved Performance Review Process

Many women have expressed frustration with the performance review process. Research consistently shows that women are less likely to speak up about their accomplishments and advocate for themselves, and when they do, it may be perceived negatively. To improve this process, organizations can take the following steps:

  • Set clear performance metrics
  • Train managers on unbiased evaluation and assertive communication
  • Encourage objective feedback
  • Provide regular feedback
  • Help women showcase their accomplishments through questions and collaboration.

5) Support in identifying the availability and affordability of childcare options.

Explore ways to support employees who are caregivers, such as partnering with local childcare providers to offer on-site facilities. Additionally, consider offering flexible work schedules or remote work options. It's also important to review your parental leave policies and provide support to working parents. As a possible option, you may want to consider Parento, a gender-neutral paid parental leave insurance program that helps employers support working parents.

It's important to recognize women's accomplishments across generations and commit to creating workplaces that champion diversity and inclusivity. Fe's survey serves as a powerful reminder that the collective strength of women from different generations is a driving force propelling us toward a future where equality is not just an aspiration but a reality.


This article was written by Luciana Paulise from Forbes and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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