Female-owned businesses more attractive to millennials

Organizations can learn a lot about company culture from female-owned businesses – says VP of global strategy and talent.

Soon, HR will be welcoming in a new era – that of the millennial – and organizations that don’t understand the younger generation’s desires will surely assign themselves to failure. So what can you do to ensure long-term success?

Look to female-owned businesses – urges Mara Swan, executive VP of global strategy and talent at ManpowerGroup – their culture tends to be more attractive to millennials.

In an interview with HR Magazine, Swan said female-owned businesses have different political and power structures to male-owned businesses – structures which, she said, are more appealing to the average gen Y worker.

“Millennials want shared power, equal voices, flexibility, integration, development and more say in their career,” she said.
According to Swan, organizations that have women in positions of power often demonstrate these traits more visibly than those with male leaders – it’s a symbol of their success.


“The issue of women in positions of power is not just how we get women into leadership,” she said – it’s about how companies can ensure they remain relevant with a younger generation.

Swan added that female enterprises tend to have a “shared investment” in their employees’ careers as their size is, on average, smaller than male-owned businesses. 

She said: “Employers will then be interested in coaching employees because they are interested in making staff rise to their highest potential.” 

Swan also stressed the importance of ensuring women are in positions at all levels of a business. In this way, more junior women have “real models” to coach and inspire them. 

“Women in the C-suite are role models but they are too far away from middle management or junior professionals,” she said. “You have to have women all the way through.”  

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