5 signs that now's the time for millennial women to shine in their careers

Explaining the Gender Wage Gap
Explaining the Gender Wage Gap

Working women continue to be steadfast in their fight for gender equality in the workplace. And, it's paying off, especially for millennials, who now have the greatest support of any generation of women. Here are a few signs that it's time for millennial women to break the glass ceiling once and for all.

Today, women make up nearly half of the American workforce, but, sadly, there are more CEOs named John than there are female CEOs. I'm not saying this to burst your bubble, but remind you that there is still a way to go on the gender equality journey. Women have undoubtedly made massive strides fighting for parity in all aspects of their lives, however unconscious bias and other stereotypes continue to keep women out of male-dominant industries.

If we want to eradicate gender disparities in the working world for good, then more women need to lead by example and be the change that they want to see in the world, starting now. If there's any generation of women capable of accomplishing this long overdue task, it's the outspoken, strong, independent, go-getter generation of women known as millennials. Here are five facts to help motivate you to continue to fight the good fight for your generation and those to come.

1. Women Make Better Leaders

Kevin O'Leary (Mr. Wonderful) from ABC's The Shark Tanksaid, "Women make better CEOs," and he seems to practice what he preaches, because 55 percent of the CEOs in his business portfolio are female. (Learn more about what makes women better leaders, here.)

2. Companies Run by Women are More Successful

Research shows that companies with women at the helm outperform those run by men. In fact, a recent study conducted by Quantopian over a 12-year period found that "women CEOs in the Fortune 1000 drive three times the returns as S&P 500 enterprises run predominantly by men," reportsFortune. The study was conducted from 2002 to 2014 and compared the performance of Fortune 1000 companies run by women CEOs against the performance of S&P 500 companies. "[T]he 80 women CEOs during those 12 years produced equity returns 226% better than the S&P 500," according to the study's findings.

3. Women Have Higher Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Women are better at expressing their emotions and perceiving the emotions of others around them, saysForbes, which means that they're more in tune emotionally than men. Why is emotional intelligence (EQ) important in the workplace? Having the ability to manage and assess your emotions and the emotions of those around you allows you to connect with and relate to others, which is a vital component of being a good leader. Moreover, it's estimated that 90 percent of leadership success is attributed to a high EQ, according to Forbes. There's a common misconception about women being too emotional to be effective leaders, however, based on the aforementioned findings, it seems that women are just the right amount of "emotional" to get the job done ... and done well.

4. Millennial Women Are Saying "I Do" to Their Careers vs. Marriage

"With hourly earnings at 93% of their male counterparts, [millennial women] are the first cohort of women in history to enter the workforce at near parity with men," reportsFast Company. Moreover, millennial women are more likely to hold managerial or professional roles compared to their male counterparts (34 percent compared to 25 percent, respectively), which may be the reason more millennial women are opting to tie the knot with their careers versus their significant others. Millennials, in general, have a new definition of success that involves a less corporate-style career and a more balanced lifestyle. Older generations could probably learn a thing or two about work-life balance from this so-called "lazy" and "entitled" generation.

5. All the Right People Are Rooting for You

Remember when I was talking about women making strides in their fight for equality in the workplace? Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Apple, to name a few, have all taken action to diversify their workforce and fight the gender disparities that exist in male-dominant industries like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Even Hollywood actresses, like Charlize Theron, are fighting the unconscious bias and making headlines for demanding equal pay for equal work. The best part is, millennial women have so many successful female business leaders to look up to and encourage them to follow in their footsteps.

If you're a millennial woman who aspires to be a leader one day soon, then check out these seven tips to help you make that dream a reality in your career. Now's your time to shine, so get out there and make it happen, ladies!

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Originally published