PwC Research: What Millennial Women Want

March 9, 2015 6:36 pm

PricewaterhouseCoopers The Female MillenialFemale Millennials (women born between 1980 and 1995) are taking over the workplace, and their needs and views will change the global corporate landscape.

So, what do they want?

Real flexibility, regular and consistent feedback, and opportunities for global assignments, according to the primary findings of a newly released report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (No. 5 in the DiversityInc Top 50).

The study found that Millennial women want a lot more flexibility than now exists in most workplaces (50 percent say work significantly impacts their personal lives), opportunities to advance, and equity in salary and benefits, something they feel isn’t the case. They also want to work for organizations that value equality and inclusion because they believe diversity and inclusion are essential to a successful employer.

The Methodology


PwC commissioned generational studies in 2008, 2011 and 2013. The 2013 study, “NextGen: A Global Generational Study Report,” captured the views of 40,000 respondents in 18 territories. This year, PwC decided to delve deeper into the minds of female Millennials. The firm commissioned Optimum Research to conduct an international online survey between Jan. 15 and Jan. 30. There were 10,105 respondents from 75 countries. All were between the ages of 20 and 35, and 86.6 percent were female. Slightly less than half were PwC employees.

Key Findings


“We really are talking about a new era of female talent,” the report stated.

  • • They are more highly educated and are entering the workforce in larger numbers than any of their previous generations.
  • • The female Millennial is also more confident than any female generation before her and considers opportunities for career progression the most attractive employer trait.
  • • Female Millennials seek out employers with a strong record on equality and diversity, but their expectations are not always met in practice.


The PwC data also show that female Millennials:

  • • Are more educated: post–high school female enrollment has increased almost twice as much as male enrollment since 1970; women globally earn 56 percent of master’s degrees
  • • Have financial responsibilities: 86 percent of women in relationships are part of dual-career couples, 42 percent earn salaries equal to partner or spouse, 24 percent are primary earners
  • • Are divided into three groups: career starters (0–3 years’ work experience), career developer (4–8 years’ work experience) and career establisher (9-plus years’ work experience)

What Female Millennials Want in Employers

Career Progression 53%
Money 52%
Flexibility 35%
Good Benefits 33%
Training 27%


D&I Is Important to Female Millennials

2015 2011
Opportunities Not Really Equal 71% 54%
D&I Factor in Deciding Where to Work 86% NA
Promotions Too Male-Based 43% 22%


Case Study: PwC is putting its research into workplace reality. For example, the firm’s Aspire to Lead, a university-based forum on women and leadership, was launched in 2014. The global program is aimed at demonstrating commitment to female advancement and leadership while helping junior women overcome any potential barriers. PwC hires about 20,000 college graduates each year, half of whom are women. So far, the firm has held two Aspire to Lead events, reaching female students from more than 100 countries through webcasts.

The research also found that female Millennials want honest feedback often so they can understand what they need to do to get to the next step. Face-to-face discussions are also essential, the research finds, “because it reinforces the importance of the discussion while tangibly showcasing value and appreciation for their efforts.”

Why They Leave


Top 5 Reasons Female Millennials Leave:

1. Not enough career opportunities
2. Work was not interesting or meaningful
3. Not enough learning opportunities
4. Found other job that pays more
5. Not fair balance between hard work and compensation

Global Assignments

The research also found that most female Millennials want to have global assignments and feel that overseas exposure is essential to career success. The report’s research found female Millennials will be about 25 percent of the global workforce by 2020.

Global Careers

Men Women
Have Global Assignments 80% 20%
Feel There Are Equal Global Opportunities 77% 56%


To view the full report, go to The report was supported by PwC Chairman and Senior Partner Bob Moritz, as well as the senior-leadership team.