Is power moving? That simple question inspired our 2019 survey on leadership, success, and diversity. As the baby boomer generation transitions out of the workplace, Gen X and millennials are poised to make large-scale organizational change—but just how differently do generations and genders define leadership?
In January and February 2019, we sought to find the answer. We surveyed more than 2,500 women and men at various leadership stages and from seven countries—Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We asked them how they defined great leadership, the importance of a diverse organization, and how they prioritize and balance their professional and personal lives.
Women and men defined great leadership similarly, but generations had distinct differences.
Younger generations expected leaders to be humble. Millennials rated humility higher than any other generation (48%), and above the global average (43%). Male millennials were more likely to say humility was important (55%), compared to male boomers (32%). Boomers were more likely to prize resilience as a key leadership quality (35%), compared to millennials (21%).Download Report
We asked respondents to select the top 3 traits a great leader should model.Download Report
Millennials were significantly more likely than other generations to say their leaders always exhibit these key qualities (38%), while only 22% of Boomers and 26% of Gen Xers agreed.Download Report
While there were some differences between men and women in how they defined their career aspirations and motivations, there were far greater differences between generations, geographies, and job titles.
C-suite aspirations have nearly evened out between men and women, with 27 percent of women aspiring to reach the C-suite compared to 31 percent of men.Download Report
Which, if any, of the following have been barriers to your own career success?
Boomers were the most concerned with providing for themselves and their families—45 percent rated this their chief motivation. It was significantly less important to Millennials (24%) and somewhat less important to Gen X (32%). Power and influence and public recognition and status ranked low across genders, generations, geographies, and job titles.Download Report
A diverse workplace is more important to younger generations.
Geographically, a diverse workplace was more important in China--78 percent said it was very important--compared to 44 percent in Germany.Download Report
A majority (61%) believed there were equal opportunities for all within their organizations.Download Report
There was little difference between genders and generations in responses.Download Report