Generation Y Parents Vs. Marissa Mayer Of Yahoo
2 years, 3 months.
A really weird news story that has been trending for two weeks now is that Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced to her employees that she will be banning them from working remotely, starting in June. This didn’t go over well, especially with moms who have been working from home.
Things got even more interesting when it was revealed that Marissa Mayer paid to have a nursery built in her office, so she could bring her toddler to work with her.
There’s no need to point out the obvious double standard here.
As a Generation Y parent, I am especially intrigued and provoked by this story. It’s because Generation Y parents live by a unique work ethic.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, published an article called “Perception Vs. Reality: 10 Truths About The Generation Y Workforce.” He helps shed some light on why Marissa Mayer’s decision especially rubs a raw nerve with parents of my generation, born in 1981 and beyond:
“Generation Y is the first generation to expect — from day one — employers to realize there is more to life than work. Just as many Baby Boomers are now discovering later in their careers, Generation Y sees work as a means to enjoy life — and life comes first. They have a strong work ethic — just not in a 9-5 sort of way. Generation Y wants work to be fun and flexible because the line between work and life is seamless. (In other words, there is no such thing as work-life balance because it’s all just one thing.) Generation Y also follows a mantra of working smarter, not harder.
The key for employers is offering flexible work schedules, adjusting the belief that workers need to ‘put in the hours at the desk’ to be effective, and developing a work culture that is pleasant and positive.”
So for any Yahoo employees, this news about no longer being able to work from home is not cool. But it’s especially an insult to those who happen to be parents aged 32 and younger.
Something I have personally observed about Generation Y in the work force, is that we’re not good about keeping our mouths shut when we spot an obvious double standard. We have an (unrealistic?) expectation that our superiors should go by the same restrictions they place on us.
No eating lunch at our desk? No texting during work hours? Fine. Just don’t let us catch our supervisors doing those same things.
Because as Dr. Randall S. Hansen goes on to explain in ”Perception Vs. Reality: 10 Truths About The Generation Y Workforce,” Generation Y has been raised to question authority:
“While some people refer to this cohort of people as Generation Why for a reason, it is not so much an issue of a lack of respect for authority as much as it is that this group has been raised by their parents to question everything and raise questions when they don’t understand something.
This generation is very independent and not afraid to challenge the status-quo. Many in Generation Y want a relationship with their boss like the ones they have with their parents. It’s not that these folks have little respect for authority; on the contrary, they feel employers do not respect them.
The key for employers is realizing that asking questions can often lead to answers and solutions that are actually more efficient and effective. Unlike with any other set of workers in the past, employers must also provide more autonomy — and trust Gen Y workers to complete the work.”
I’m curious to see how my Generation Y mindset will affect you as my son. I am proud to be a Generation Y parent. I think you and I are going to have good, open and honest communication.
As for ever hearing me say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” well forget about it.
Question me as your dad and I will be glad to you give you an answer that is not “just because.” Learn by my lived-out examples, not just my words.
It’s very important to me that I’m a good dad… I associate that with my Generation Y work ethic.
Top image: Letter Y, via Shutterstock.
Bottom image: Work Ethics, via Shutterstock.