Gen Z: Who Are They?
Over the last couple of years, I have conducted several research projects among the Gen Z cohort. With three daughters between the ages of 12 and 17, I also have been able to witness firsthand their interactions with their peers and one another. The five key things about this generation that stand out to me include:
- Being the most connected generation in history, yet possibly the most isolated. This paradox I see firsthand in my home as the majority of their “connecting” with friends is via text and rarely do they talk or hang out in person.
- Embracing Diversity. They see diversity in many forms– racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual preference. They are quick to advocate for the disadvantaged and strive for inclusion.
- Desiring to support brands that are socially responsible. They seek to support brands that are good corporate citizens and give back (assuming quality and cost are acceptable).
- Uncertain about the route to adulthood and in no hurry to get there. The traditional routes of getting a college degree and then a job may seem out of reach with the skyrocketing cost of a college education and the possibility of not getting hired. I also see in my household and community that Gen Z are in no hurry to learn to drive. When I was growing up, getting your driver’s license on your 16th birthday was a rite of passage.
- Mental health concerns are prevalent. Social media, climate change, the struggle to identify and be one’s true self, competitive school environment and the uncertain path to adulthood create pressure and stress for this generation.
We have assembled some quick facts and interesting reads to help you better understand Gen Z.