The BridgingTheGap™ Report series by Lovell Corporation analyzes the gaps and opportunities in the changing workforce to prepare businesses, policymakers and individuals for the future of work. This article draws from Lovell’s report, Gender and The Future Workforce, which identifies the career expectations, work values, concerns and desired supports of young professionals in the workplace using a gender lens to identify the differences, if any, between male, female and gender-neutral (non-binary) talent.
The prevalence of gender dialogues in 2018 continues to grow with the topics such as equal pay, gender budgeting, representation in leadership and improved skills training for women/girls making the agenda of conferences, cabinet meetings and policy forums alike. Specialized groups such as the Women 20 (W20), a G20 engagement group, and the G7 Women’s Advisory Council have formed to support the promotion of gender-inclusive economic growth. Gender equality is top priority for Canada’s G7 Presidency and will be taking a spotlight in the coming days as the Group of Seven world leaders gather in Charlevoix, Québec on June 8-9, 2018.
But are these dialogues, policy reforms and new gender-based initiatives making a difference and actually helping to create more inclusive workplaces and societies for the next generation of women and girls?
To analyze the gender gap in the future workforce and see where progress is being made today and where it’s not, Lovell Corporation’s Gender and The Future Workforce study examines the shifts in gender-based career preferences between Millennials (born from 1981) and their successors Generation Z (born from 1994). More on Millennials vs. Generation Z: How Their Work Values Compare
Shifts in STEM Careers
- Despite efforts to increase girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), female interest in computer and information sciences is still declining, with less Gen Z females wanting to enrol in the field than Millennials.
- Young males are nearly 50% more likely to pursue science than females.
- Young males are four times as likely as females to be studying engineering or computer science.
- Gen Z females are 50% more likely than Millennial females to seek a career in science.
The widening gap for women in STEM, particularly in computer and information sciences and engineering is a concern. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment forecasts in STEM categories, only six percent of STEM job growth from 2014-2024 will be in physical sciences or life sciences, while 73 percent will be in computer occupations. Furthermore, with the rise of disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain, it’s predicted that over two million new jobs will be created in sectors such as engineering and computers and mathematics (WEF). The declining interest among Gen Z females in pursuing computer science perpetuates an existing trend with women currently in the workforce. In fact, the number of women earning computer science degrees has declined over the past 20 years, and in 2011, women held less than 25% of STEM jobs. If this gender gap cannot be bridged, girls today and the next generation of women in the workforce will face a severe disadvantage in the future of work.
Shifts in Business and Entrepreneurship
- While young females are over 20% more interested in pursuing a business career than young males, females are less likely to become entrepreneurs.
- One in five young males are thinking about entrepreneurship as a future career path.
- Young males are over twice as likely to see themselves starting a business than females.
- Young males and females showed the same level of interest in studying management; however, when asked it was not listed as top occupational choice among females.
- There is a generational decline for females interested in business and management fields.
- Gen Z females are three times less likely to aspire towards management careers than Millennial females.
- Gen Z females are almost 50% less likely to pursue a career in business than Millennial females.