High-flying "millennial" women don't live to work-book

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:16am EST
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By Jane Merriman

LONDON (Reuters) - Giant corporations will have to consign the alpha male office culture to the paper shredder if they want to hang on to today's high-flying 20- and 30-somethings, particularly women.

The world's top firms will struggle to inspire the "millennial" generation with a reward culture based on endless hours in the office and networking built around heavy drinking and macho sports, according to business professor Elisabeth Kelan.

The senior lecturer at King's College London argues in her new book "Rising Stars" that 21st century graduates of both genders aren't willing to devote themselves entirely to any one firm in a world where changing jobs every two or three years is the norm.

"The millennial generation - both men and women - don't want to live their entire life to work," Kelan said.

"This is more pronounced for women because the long-hours work culture is not conducive to children. As a result, women often leave their jobs way before they actually want children."

Kelan's research shows that while women make up about 50 percent of entry level jobs, most organizations say only a third of their middle-management and 10 percent of top management are women.

This is partly because the women high-fliers in Kelan's book, who are lawyers, consultants, bankers, corporate executives, get disillusioned when men rise through the ranks faster than they do.

Some, fed up with long hours and little leisure time, decide to opt for something different - maybe consider starting their own businesses instead.   Continued...