Millennials Balance Hopeful Aspirations, Harsh Economic Realities

EY and EIG Release National Study Examining Millennials and the Economy

EY (No. 3 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) and the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) today released a new national survey of Millennials gauging their views on a variety of issues related to the economy, education, American institutions, and the challenges they continue to face almost seven years into the recovery from the Great Recession. The results reveal a generation convinced the economy is failing them, a generation that is willing to work hard to better their lot, and a generation experiencing a great deal of anxiety about the future. Many Millennials entered the workforce in the midst of a deep economic crisis and today find themselves racked by student debt and lacking confidence in most American institutions.


You can view the complete findings here: http://eig.org/millennial.

"This is a generation that values hard work, and they are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get ahead in life. They will move away from home, they will commute long distances, to get the right job," added Kate Barton, EY Americas vice chair of tax services. "Many of them hope for an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. And while they truly respect entrepreneurship, they worry that they will not be able to overcome the significant financial and regulatory hurdles associated with starting a business."

"Millennials are the future of the U.S. economy, and this survey helps answer the question of how businesses and policymakers can help this generation thrive," said Cathy Koch, EY Americas tax policy leader. "Millennials will soon be leading our economy, and their perspectives suggest certain policies and approaches that today's leaders can embrace to address their unique needs."

"The Millennial mindset was dramatically impacted by the harsh economic realities of the Great Recession, which has made them remarkably politically independent, economically pessimistic, and skeptical of traditional institutions," said EIG cofounder and executive director Steve Glickman. "What the establishment doesn't understand is that in their minds, Millennials did all of the right things – they worked hard, got their education but they incurred huge amounts of debt and the job market they inherited hasn't rewarded any of these sacrifices. Now they are deeply concerned about their future."

Highlights from the study include:

Millennials value education and hard work, and they're willing to make sacrifices to get ahead, but coming of age during an historic economic downturn has severely impacted their lives.

- Eighty-eight percent of Millennials recognize that hard work is an important factor to get ahead in life, but 78 percent are worried about having good-paying job opportunities.

- Sixty-four percent would move to a different part of the country for a better job or access to better opportunities, and 63 percent would add an hour to their commute for a better job.

Millennials will be the most educated generation in U.S. history, but they are not convinced that higher education will provide them the same leg-up on the path to prosperity that it guaranteed earlier generations.

- Two-thirds of Millennials believe that having a great education is important to getting ahead in life, but less than half (49 percent) believe that, personally, the benefits of a college education will be worth the cost.

- To obtain their educations, Millennials have taken on significant financial risk. Fifty-two percent of have or will have taken on student loan debt, and 43 percent believe that student debt has limited career options.

Millennials admire entrepreneurs and would consider starting a business—if they had the financial means.

- Millennials overwhelmingly (78 percent) consider entrepreneurs successful, and 62 percent of Millennials have considered starting their own business.

- The biggest obstacle keeping Millennials from starting their own business is money. Forty-two percent of Millennials lament that they don't have the financial means to start a business.

Conditioned and also shaken by the economic conditions when they entered the job market, Millennials are risk-averse and even conservative in their career choices.

- A large plurality (44 percent) of Millennials believe the best way to advance their career is to climb the corporate ladder.

- Even though 62 percent of Millennials have considered starting a business and 51 percentknow someone who started or worked for a startup, only 22 percent believe entrepreneurship is the best way to advance their career.

- Black women are the only Millennial demographic in which a plurality (39 percent) believe that starting their own business is best way to get ahead.

This generation is skeptical of the establishment, putting very little confidence in institutions, but remaining fiercely patriotic and supportive of a leading role for the United States in the world.

- Millennials express low levels of confidence in nearly every American institution. Corporate America, governors, and the news media inspire the lowest levels of confidence, with onlyone-fifth of Millennials placing a lot or a great deal of stock in them.

- Colleges and universities and the military are the only institutions of the 13 polled to garner the confidence of the majority of Millennials.

- Millennials remain overwhelmingly patriotic - 84 percent agree that they are proud to be an American, with Hispanic men as the most group (91 percent).

Millennials are largely comfortable with their own tax burden, but they remain concerned about fairness in the tax system.

- A majority (53 percent) of Millennials who filed a tax return believe the amount they paid was about right, but the older they get, the greater they feel their tax burden increases.

- Seventy percent think the wealthy pay too little, and 56 percent think lower income Americans pay too much.

- Millennials tend to prioritize federal spending on programs that increase economic security, with 64 percent reporting public education as a top priority, followed by 46 percent who would prioritize Social Security and Medicare. In fact, 74 percent are worried that Social Security won't be there when they retire.

Many Millennials want an investment and growth strategy from policymakers that can help improve their lot.

- Sixty-four percent of Millennials believe public education should be a top priority for federal tax dollars, a consensus that holds across party lines.

- Social Security and Medicare were the second-biggest priority, reflecting Millennials' concern about retirement. Seventy-four percent are worried that Social Security won't be there when they retire.

Middle-market Companies Seizing Growth by Embracing AI, Diverse Talent Pools and Sweeping Regulation Over Next 12 Months

EY survey shows 87% of middle-market companies plan revenue growth of more than 6% this year, significantly outpacing GDP forecasts

Originally Published by EY.

Middle-market companies across the globe are significantly more optimistic about business conditions and opportunities than last year, according to the findings of the annual EY Growth Barometer released at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum. Growth prospects for all major economies are finally improving in 2018, with International Monetary Fund GDP forecasts currently at 3.9% for the year. Amid this positive background, business leaders are bullish about revenue growth.

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Regulatory Complexity is the Greatest Barrier to Widespread Blockchain Adoption, While Regulatory Changes are the Primary Driver of Broader Integration, According to EY Poll

Organizations are making an active effort to integrate blockchain into their business functions as they look to reap the benefits of the technology, with 60% expecting the financial/professional services industry to see the most blockchain breakthroughs in the next two years.

Originally Published by EY.

Regulatory complexity is having a significant impact on widespread blockchain adoption, according to an EY poll of senior professionals who attended the EY Global Blockchain Summit in New York. Sixty one percent see regulatory complexity as the biggest barrier to widespread adoption, followed by integration with legacy technology (51%) and a lack of general understanding of blockchain's capabilities (49%).

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We’re the Kids in America

Democrats fueled by youth movement.

REUTERS

This election cycle has brought with it a wave of young blood into the Democratic party. From Iowa to Maine to California to Pennsylvania, a group of young progressives are prime to crash the old white man's party in D.C. Whether it is a 25-year-old Eagle scout raised by two gay women, a 30-year old bisexual or a 29-year-old daughter of a welder, it is the youth movement that has taken over the 2018 primary season.

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Originally Published by National Organization on Disability.

On November 1st, the National Organization on Disability held our Corporate Leadership Council Fall Luncheon and Roundtable. Hosted at Sony's New York offices, the event centered on the topic of mental health in the workplace.

Members of our Board of Directors and executives from nearly 40 companies held a candid conversation, heard from business leaders, and participated in an insightful Q&A where successful strategies were discussed to accommodate and support employees with mental illness in the workplace.

"Mental illness is the single biggest cause of disability worldwide," said Craig Kramer, a panelist at the event and Chair of Johnson & Johnson's Global Campaign on Mental Health. "One out of four people will have a clinically diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives," he continued. Another 20 to 25% of the population will be caregivers to loved ones with a mental illness.

The costs are staggering. "In the coming decades, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined…. It's trillions of dollars," said Kramer.

From an employer's perspective, the need for a successful strategy to deal with mental illness in the workplace is clear. But what are the most effective ways to confront this challenge? Roundtable participants discussed a wide range of ideas and success stories aimed at de-stigmatizing mental health and incorporating the issue into wider conversations around talent, productivity, and inclusion.

6 KEY TAKEAWAYS ON MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE:

  1. Be empathetic. "The most important workplace practice [with respect to mental health] is empathy," said NOD President Carol Glazer. Empathy is critical for normalizing conversations about mental health, but also for maximizing productivity. "A feeling of psychological safety is important," said Lori Golden, a panelist and Abilities Strategy Leader for Ernst & Young; and this sense of safety requires the empathy of colleagues to flourish.
  2. Tell stories. "Nothing is more activating of empathy than for people to share their powerful stories," said Dr. Ronald Copeland, NOD Board member and Senior Vice President of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Kaiser Permanente. Copeland's organization partners with the renowned nonprofit, Story Corps, to capture the stories of Kaiser Permanente employees, and also provides a platform on the company intranet for employees to communicate in a safe space. Both Craig Kramer and Lori Golden also shared examples of how their companies provide opportunities to share their stories and "start the conversation, break the silence," as Kramer put it.
  3. Model from the top. Carol Glazer received a standing ovation at the luncheon for her account of her own experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This type of executive-level modeling sends a powerful message that a company is committed to improving mental health for all employees. Lori Golden shared how EY had experienced great success with a program where top-level managers host office-specific events and share stories of mental illness or addiction that they are personally connected to – either about their colleagues or loved ones or, in a surprisingly high number of instances, about themselves. Senior leadership setting the example conveys that this is a forum in which employees can feel comfortable sharing.
  4. Communicate peer-to-peer. "We all know that there's greater trust of our own peers than there is of the organization," said Lori Golden. So to build trust, EY "took it to the grass roots," creating formal opportunities for employees to have conversations about mental health and asking other ERGs to co-sponsor these events. Craig Kramer also noted that Johnson & Johnson had simply folded mental health issues into their global disability ERGs, eventually building the world's second-largest mental health ERG by piggy-backing on existing infrastructure and leveraging existing connections.
  5. Be flexible. Accommodating [the fact that people live busy, complex lives] gets you better buy-in…and keeps production pretty high," suggested Dr. Copeland. A representative from one Council company concurred, explaining how their company has recently instituted a new policy of paid time off for caregivers on top of federally-funded leave. "Being in a culture in which we measure what you produce and not whether you show up in person all day, every day, and where if you can't be there, you negotiate how the deliverables will get done and in what time frame…is immensely helpful to people who themselves have mental illness issues or addiction or are caring for those who do and may need some flexibility," summarized Lori Golden.
  6. Build a trustworthy Employee Action Plan. Many employees do not access or even trust their organization's internal resources. According to Craig Kramer, the percentage of calls placed to most company Employee Action Plans (EAPs) regarding mental health is "in the low single digits," while "if you look at your drug spend, you'll find that around 50% is [related to] mental health." The people answering those calls must be trained in mental health issues, and employees also need to be assured that EAPs are truly confidential.

While revealing and accommodating mental illness remains a massive challenge in the workplace and beyond, a number of successful strategies are emerging for tackling this challenge – many of them pioneered by companies in NOD's Corporate Leadership Council.

EY: Women CEOs’ Growth Ambitions Significantly Outpacing the Market, Despite Their Ongoing Challenges in Accessing Capital

The EY survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

Originally Published by EY.
  • 30% of female-led companies are targeting growth of more than 15% in next 12 months, compared with just 5% among rest of market
  • 52% of women-led companies have no access to external funding, compared to 30% of male-led companies
  • 17% of respondents think that access to capital is the biggest barrier to growth

Despite encountering more obstacles to accessing capital, female-run businesses are targeting more ambitious growth margins than male-led companies, according to the EY survey Is the x chromosome the x factor for business leadership?, unveiled at the EY Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM Asia-Pacific and Japan conference this week in Tokyo. The survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

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