Pulse Check: 3 Ways Millennials and Generation Z Are Driving DEI In The Workplace


Here are 3 ways millennials and generation z are driving DEI and connecting it to the business outcomes and success of the companies we champion:


Demand from Millennials for an authentic Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion effort is calling companies to take notice. The 2021 Deloitte Survey, the largest of its kinds, outlined the following insights:

  • 60% of Gen-Z and 56% of Millennials believe systemic racism is very or fairly widespread in general society
  • 1 in 5 Millennials believe they are discriminated in the workplace “all the time”

According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers said a diverse workforce was important when evaluating companies and job offers. 37% of employees and job seekers said they wouldn’t apply to a company that had negative satisfaction ratings among people of color.


In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and other societal events, young people took to the streets demanding equity. In the face of societal unrest and racial reckoning, we saw the types of discussions evolve. No longer would “check the box” solutions do the trick as Millennials and Generation Z comprised a sizable percentage of the summer protestors. 

  • According to a Business Insider poll of 39,000 Young Americans (Millennials & Gen-Z), 77% of young Americans had attended a protest to support Black Americans. A whopping 90% of respondents said that they support the “Black Lives Matter” movement

Millennials and Gen-Z, two of the largest age demographics targeted by modern workplace programs, have a higher level of sophistication around this topic than their generational predecessors. This calls for DEI strategies to be impact and data-driven versus the “check the box” approaches of years past. These movements have also been intersectional in nature, so where one issue gains attention, all are being called to accountability. 


Millennials and Gen-Z are the most purpose-driven generation to date, and those values and causes are making their way back to their day jobs.

In a recent survey by SHRM, 63% of millennials—essential workers under 35—said the primary purpose of businesses should be “improving society” instead of “generating profit.” The study also tells us that 94% of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause and 57% wish there were more company-wide service days.

This purpose-driven approach to work has organizations leveraging their CSR and ESG programs to support the causes most important to their employees. Through this, companies are spending greater than ever on crafting equitable and inclusive work environments and communities of operation.