Less than one-quarter of mid-career professional women aspire to a position of power, according to research from the Center for Talent Innovation. And yet, 26% of U.S. women would unhesitatingly say yes if they were offered an executive leadership position in their profession tomorrow.

I believe that Millennial Women are about to change the leadership landscape. Millennials are engaged and ambitious. More than any other generation, 71% of Millennials aspire to the top job compared to 54% of Gen X and 39% of Baby Boomers. Forty-three percent of Millennials are willing to do whatever it takes to get the top job. I see this in young women who are brilliant rising stars that work hard to know their worth.

This generation defines leadership and being #Bossy much differently than previous generations. They are becoming more educated and informed about the blinds spots at the personal and organizational level that will challenge their path to success. They are using this to pioneer a new roadmap that could influence how companies are structured, how benefits are designed to support work-life integration, leveraging technology for broader partnerships, more efficiencies and to include greater diversity of ideas, thoughts and contributions.

What they need is more visible mentorship and sponsorship from the experienced generations to be able to put their ideas into practice. Men and women in senior level positions can burnish their own brand through investing their time and support towards younger women.

Two in three employers believe most college graduates have the skills and knowledge to succeed in entry-level positions. But, they feel fewer graduates have what it takes to advance. This could be a detriment to ambitious young women who aspire to the top job and need hand-on, steadfast support immediately.

Bentley University sponsored research around Millennial women in the workplace and uncovered some startling insights. The Bentley Preparedness Survey shows that respondents believe recent female college graduates are better prepared for their first job than male recent college graduates – by a wide margin, 59% to 41%.

Yet while survey respondents consider women better prepared for success in their first jobs, they believe men are better prepared for their entire careers (53% to 47%). More significantly, when asked, “Who is better suited to succeed in today’s business climate,” just 31% of respondents choose women, compared with 69% who choose men. This was true among millennials themselves: 62% of millennial women believe men are better suited for success in today’s business climate.

Similar to the Bentley Study were the findings from our own Study with Barnes and Noble College where we asked students to describe their ideal boss.

A graduating senior wrote, “I want my supervisor to have realistic expectations. Hopefully, they would be ethically sound toward both women and men in the work environment. I don’t want to feel like I have to ‘act like a man’ to make it to the top. Our communication would be clear, quick and concise. We would have meetings weekly about what we can do to improve our work environment.”

It’s possible that young women recognize the challenges that remain in traditional work environments but that doesn’t change their expectations for how they should and want to be treated by management.

Written by Joan Snyder Kuhl, founder of Why Millennials Matter & co-author of Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders

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