by Tessa Conboy
I was sitting in a presentation for International Women’s Day, where a female CEO of a global media company spoke to all the women at my company and gave her top five tips for excelling in industry, especially as a female.
One of these points was to take a seat at the boardroom table, ask for things we need and deserve, and although she was applying this to specifically our brand of female, you can also apply this to the millennial brand, because across both genders, male and female, we all want to take that seat at the table, and be heard.
Ideation flows through every employee from every sector of a business, they may not sit in the ‘creative department’ or have a title that implies ‘ideas master’ but they all have a different perspective and a different voice to lend to the mix. Especially the millennials sprinkled throughout the business. Having a mentor or manager who encourages and what we deem as ‘allows’ us to offer our thoughts and contribute in order to collaborate, is what each millennial desires.
I have been lucky enough to have three managers who have provided exactly this for me, even a director of a department I was in, who believed in my ideas and perspective. It encouraged me, it drove me, it challenged me, because I was starting to make my way to taking that seat. When we are given the opposite, a superior who will not let us spread our wings, or a superior who for want of a better saying feels ‘we should be seen and not heard’, we are less engaged, less productive, less collaborative and less confident.
We have come ahead leaps and bounds in the gender equality race but what about the age respect race. Young and old, we all want our opinion to matter, we all want our ideas to be heard, because as much as we all play for team ‘me’, we also play for a team ‘us’. Some of the best results are delivered when a group listens and hears one another, leading to what we want when we eventually take that seat, respect.
When millennials are not just seen but also heard, and our opinion is acknowledged, we respect our superiors as they have seen us as an equal rather than a junior member of the team, but as well as this we gain respect from our colleagues. Therefore the next time we enter a meeting, or a brainstorm, or a client presentation, we feel encouraged and confident to express our ideas and contribute to the end solution. We are making our way to take the seat at the boardroom table, but also hoping we open up the avenue to have more millennials start to take that seat as well.
Tessa Conboy is a millennial and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. She was private school educated (Pymble Ladies College) and gained her Bachelor of Communications, Journalism from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW.
Currently, she works as an Account Manager for Australian company, Bastion Collective in their PR and Communications team, Bastion Effect. Previous to this position she has worked with Sydney’s leading hospitality company and a national radio entertainment brand in their PR teams. Like most of her generation, she is a digital native and fluent with most social media platforms.