Millennials could upend corporate America, says study by senior fellow Morley Winograd

“As Millennials become an increasingly large share of the adult population and gather more and more wealth, the generation’s size and unity of belief will cause seismic shifts in the nation’s financial sector,” writes senior fellow Morley Winograd in a new study he co-authored with Michael Hais. Titled “How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America”, the paper was published by The Brookings Institution and featured in The Wall Street Journal.

Drawing from many different surveys and analyses, Winograd and Hais paint a picture of the generational changes that are gradually shaping America’s future:

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“By 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce.”

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“In 2013, the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), surveyed the best and the brightest of America’s 15-27 year olds and asked them where they would most like to work…. Outside of the high tech sector, the type of employers that were most appealing to Millennials as a place to work were those whose mission is to change the world for the better.”

Based on a recent Intelligence Group survey, “almost two-thirds (64%) of Millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.”

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“For Millennials, trust comes from shared values and commitments to common causes.” And according to the Pew Research Center, “only 19 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement that ‘most people can be trusted,’ a percentage that was about half of all other older generations.”

Winograd and Hais argue that Wall Street’s culture is becoming increasingly isolated from the Millenial generation’s beliefs, and as the Millenials grow up into America’s largest adult generation, they will fundamentally disrupt the current status quo. “When that happens the entire edifice of corporate governance constructed on the idea of only maximizing shareholder value will come crashing down, and a new foundation for American corporations, built on trust and the values and beliefs of Millennials will arise in its place.”

Read the complete paper, “How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America”, at The Brookings Institution.