Gen Z Girls: what matters to the next generation?
Move over Millennials. Generation Z are coming of age and everyone – parents, teachers and employers – can benefit from learning more about what really matters to them.
Definitions vary, but Generation Z typically refers to those born from the mid-1990s to around 2010-2. This places around 25 candles on the birthday cakes of our most senior Gen Z-edders.
As educators we have been privileged to gain a ‘sneak preview’ of what Gen Z might bring to the world. In order to prepare our students for the future, we continually seek to understand what drives and motivates them. What are their hopes and aspirations? What are their concerns and challenges? What do they really value?
At St Mary’s we listen very carefully to each and every girl. As I do so, these questions shape the conversations we have in school and day-in-day-out I see the exciting potential held within Gen Z.
What’s Inside the Minds of Gen Z? is a 2019 study conducted by Girls With Impact, a US not-for-profit organisation, which offers a useful insight into the priorities, concerns and ambitions of our youngest generation.
What do Gen Z want?
The study consulted 500 men and women, aged 13-22 and the results suggest that more than millennials:
"Gen Z is driven by purpose and world change. An impressive 65% want to personally create something world-changing."
Interestingly, Gen Z are also more likely to see themselves as entrepreneurs, than leaders.
What do Gen Z worry about?
- Getting a job and being successful are the leading two worries
- Mental health has risen to become the third biggest worry, especially for girls
“Although getting a job is their top concern - when compared to Gen Z boys, Gen Z girls are less concerned about securing a job and being successful, showing more concern over mental health, confidence and body image.”
What is our role?
As educators and parents, we must provide the support, inspiration and tools Gen Z need to prepare for their future.
In terms of harnessing the desire to ‘make a difference’ to be innovative and entrepreneurial, as a High Performance Learning School, our approach to education already places an emphasis on skills and attitudes such as: creative thinking, agile thinking, problem-solving, self-belief and resilience.
We also offer extra-curricular opportunities centred around Enterprise and invest in bespoke careers support very early on, culminating in detailed guidance in Year 11 and Sixth Form. We aim to open minds to the diverse, exciting careers available to Gen Z and the role they can play in answering the big challenges of the 21st century.
I very much look forward to seeing what Gen Z have in store for us. Only by seeking to understand what really matters to our very youngest citizens, can we build a better future for everyone.
Also on our blog:
Full report available from Girls With Impact
Beyond Sixth Form at St Mary's
Preparing for the future with High Performance Learning