Nearly two-thirds of people around the world – including the majority of men – feel the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. According to our extensive research, millennials in highly masculine societies, such as China, Japan, South Korea and India, agree even more than all other adults, including women. In South Korea, this difference was especially striking, 71% of millennials agreed, compared to 64% of all adults.
The differences between the percentage of all adults and the percentage of millennials can be attributed to the economic conditions these groups grew up in. This is particularly evident when looking at Japan’s Children of the Lost Two Decades. These millennials are coming of age in a post-economic boom era, where men are finding it increasingly difficult to support their family with one job and more women are entering the workforce. The old masculine identity is giving way to new ideals based on feminine values. As Yosh Kanematsu, founder of Greenz, states, “A good life is both chikara, which means ‘power’, and ai, which means ‘love’. The masculine side likes to deliver on its promises and push forward, with tunnel vision. The feminine side is more inclusive and comprehensive in its view. It is strong, but it is also perceptive and considerate.”
One result of this more feminine business attitude is that more millennials are looking for work that has a purpose and gives meaning to their life. Katie Mowat, founder of UK based Grannies Inc., turned her desire to connect people into a successful business. Grannies Inc. pairs consumers with knitters who make hats, scarves and more. Each piece is handmade and the consumers can choose colors, stiches, size and even add extras such as bows online. The knitters are actual grannies with years of knitting experience, and you get to choose which one you want to bring your creation to life. Aside from the knit wear, the grannies also provide a personal connection to each consumer. As Katie explains, “…when you get that package with something in it that has been handmade specifically for you, it’s a wonderful experience. A lot of people have never received a package like that in their lives.” The realization of years of hard work, Grannies Inc. not only brings in profits, it brings together people from around the world.
Millennials are increasingly less focused on money and status and more interested in human connection and community. More adaptable and flexible, this generation places a premium on friendships, ethical behavior and diversity. This orientation helps them to live with hope and find happiness despite financial hardships.