Male and Female Millennials View Retirement Differently

By | Acumen Insights

Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. conducted a nationwide survey of 25- to 35-year olds who participate in a 401(k) plan. The results revealed that millennial men and women approach planning and saving for retirement very differently. When asked about if they are concerned about being healthy enough to enjoy retirement, 54 percent of millennial men said this was a large concern. Only 30 percent of millennial women were concerned about this. This is particularly surprising despite the fact that both millennial men and women reported being in good shape physically. Approximately 86 percent of millennial men and 84 percent of millennial women reported being in good health.

Millennial women were far more concerned than millennial men about having enough money to enjoy retirement. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women reported that this was a concern for them. Only 46 percent of millennial men reported this being a concern. Despite the significant differences, both millennial women and men reported being in a good financial health. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women and 77 percent of millennial men said they were in good financial shape.

Not knowing how much to save for retirement appears to be an issue for both millennial men and women, but more for women. A little over half of millennial men (55 percent) reported that they felt they were saving enough to retire when they wanted to.  Only 42 percent of millennial women felt this way.

The aforementioned numbers likely relate to confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity regarding 401(k) investing. Specifically, 61 percent of millennial women and 44 percent of millennial men reported not knowing what their best 401(k) investment options are. Approximately 55 percent of millennial men and only 36 percent of millennial women reported feeling on top of their 401(k) investments. In addition, just over a third (35 percent) of the men and 42 percent of the women reported feeling 401(k) investing-related stress.

Millennial Perceptions of Discrimination and Advantage in the Workplace

By | Acumen Insights

GenForward, a joint survey between the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the AP-NORC Center, examined discrimination and advantage from a sample of 18- to 30-year-olds. Of all the racial/ethnic groups, young African-Americans were most likely to report being discriminated against professionally. Approximately 48 percent said they were discriminated against while looking for a job and in the workplace. About a third of Latinos/as and Asian-Americans reported being discriminated against in these two contexts. Only 10 percent of Whites reported these types of discrimination.

Women of all racial/ethnic groups and African-American men were more likely to report experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace than White men.  Just over a third (33 percent) of African-American women and men reported experiencing discrimination. In addition, 25 percent of Asian-American, 26 percent of Latina, and 33 percent of White women reported experiencing discrimination. Asian-American (12 percent), Latino (14 percent), and White (10 percent) men were the least likely to report gender discrimination in the workplace.

In terms of advantage, women are most likely to report that men have an advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. This finding was consistent for all racial and ethnic groups. Women, regardless of racial or ethnic group, also reported that their gender makes it harder for them to succeed.

Many of the individuals surveyed also reported that they believe wealthy individuals have an economic advantage. This was the case with 90 percent of Whites, 83 percent of Asian-Americans, 83 percent of Latino/as and 80 percent of African-Americans. Younger individuals were more likely to perceive that the wealthy have an advantage than to perceive Whites or men having an advantage.

Today’s Women Still Experience Gender Disparities in the Workplace

By | Acumen Insights

A joint study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company surveyed 34,000 employees from 39 different companies. The study found that women are still underrepresented at every level of organizations, with most disparity at higher levels. For example, the c-suite levels of these organizations were comprised of 81 percent men and 19 percent women. The SVP levels were comprised of 76 percent men and 24 percent women.

Women are not only poorly represented at various levels of the workforce, but they also experience disparities within it. For instance, women are less likely to be promoted to manager, so fewer end up on the path to leadership. Promotion rates are significantly lower for women compared to men. For every 100 women promoted, 130 men are promoted.

Women are also less likely to have access to senior leaders. Women report fewer interactions with senior leaders than their male counterparts. Fifty-one percent of women in senior management reported that they interacted with a company leader at least once a week, versus 62 percent of men. Women were also less likely to report that a senior leader outside of their direct management chain helped them get a promotion or challenging new assignment.

In terms of feedback, women are less likely to receive it than men. Women ask for informal feedback just as much as men. However, they receive it less frequently. Women were 20 percent less likely than men to report that their manager frequently gives them feedback that helps to improve their performance.

Finally, although women negotiate as often as men, they often receive pushback when they do. Women who negotiate are 30 percent more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy”. In addition, they are 67 percent more likely than women who do not negotiate to receive the same type of negative feedback.