Status first: Why Millennials are more likely to take up C-suite roles

Research into the views and values of the UK’s future leaders has revealed how the C-Suite is set to change under Millennial leadership.

Millennial leaders are set to shake up traditional company management as they focus on building businesses based on both profit and purpose, according to new research.

A survey of over 2,300 global leaders and Millennial managers reveals that over half find C-Suite roles attractive, and they are more likely than their Gen X counterparts to want a job that gives them status. Millennials also indicated that they want to shake up traditional business leadership.

Three in four Millennials think that successful businesses of the future will see management look beyond the usual models of doing business and be more open to collaborating with new partners. Millennial professionals also think that teamwork is a more important quality in leaders than Gen X-ers, suggesting that the C-Suite of the future will promote a much flatter structure in the organisations they lead. Millennials also ranked passion as an important quality in leaders (30 per cent) much more highly than their Gen X counterparts (19 per cent).

“Millennials are demanding more from the businesses they work for – and will come to lead. This is setting the stage for an evolution of the C-Suite, where they will seek to put both profit and purpose at the heart of their businesses whilst also structuring them in a way to ensure tight cost management and efficient processes,” said Jose Carvalho, senior VP and general manager at American Express Global Commercial Payments Europe.

As part of their C-Suite shake up, Millennial leaders will put employee wellbeing at the top of their agenda. When asked what the biggest challenges are to businesses of the future, Millennials’ top answer was paying employees fairly, followed by retention of talent.

74 per cent of Millennials also say that successful businesses of the future will need to support employees outside of work, compared to just 67 per cent of Gen X-ers.

The research also found that while three in four future Millennial leaders think that businesses will need to have a genuine purpose that resonates with people, they also recognise the importance of driving a profit – something traditionally perceived as being at odds with doing purposeful business.

According to the research, 63 per cent of Millennials say that it is important for them to be known for making a valuable difference in the world, and Millennials are more likely to invest in CSR when running their own businesses compared to their Gen X counterparts.

“This offers valuable insight for today’s business leaders as they seek to future-proof their organisations and prepare for Millennial leadership,” Carvalho added.

UK Millennials were found to have a keen eye on maximising shareholder profit, with 53 per cent of Millennials saying that shareholder profit will be important for the success of businesses in the future compared to 46 per cent of Gen X-ers. To achieve success in the future, 71 per cent of Millennials also think that businesses will need to manage costs tightly, and 77 per cent say that financial transparency will be important.

Jon Sumner

Jon Sumner

Experienced director of digital media with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Strong media and communication professional skilled in media sales, digital strategy, web development,...