Explore challenges, solutions in the Millenial employment landscape

Aug 16, 2016

Credit WGVU

The Pew Research Center defines the Millenial generation as those born between the years of 1980 and 2000. This group is said to make up more than 40 percent of the workforce – a number that will only increase over the next decade.

Ken Miguel-Cipriano is a local resident, Peruvian immigrant and graduate of the University of Michigan. He graduated in debt and juggled a number of jobs – in a number of locations – before getting to a sense of stability.

"I think more the Boomer generation sees a somewhat checkered past or work history, and says, ‘Why have you moved around so much? Why didn’t you get a full-time offer right out of college?’," Ken says. "That’s just not the reality."

Millenials are said to be hardworking and nimble digital natives. But a number of unique challenges face these younger employees. That includes debt - but also access to equity and professional mobility, and affordable living and lifestyle options.

And these challenges can grow exponentially when viewed through the lenses of race, gender and other socioeconomic factors.

"There was such the reaction that people of color – more so men of color – lacked that ‘polish’ in this study, and that was how often that they were referred to."

Mindy Ysasi is the executive director at The SOURCE.

"[Racial bias in the workplace is] very well-documented – it’s very well known," she says.

"Jamon and I wouldn’t be seen as ‘driven’ – we’d be seen as ‘aggressive’ in an interview when we speak," Ken adds. "It’s these different ways of labeling the same traits you see in the same person."

You can hear more from Ken, Mindy and others on this month’s Mutually Inclusive with WGVU’s Mariano Avila – which you can watch here on WGVU.org.