New research from the Levi’s® brand unveils shifting priorities and a desire for women to shape their own future. This past week, Levi’s®, released the findings of a global study to better understand the challenges, expectations, goals and experiences Millennial women face around the world. The results show a surprising generational shift in life priorities and a need for a new, nontraditional form of mentorship.
The Levi’s® Shape What’s to ComeSM study was managed by StrategyOne, an applied-research consulting firm. StrategyOne conducted a rigorous, two-phase study to provide projectable, reliable insights to form an understanding of Millennial women’s perceptions of this important juncture of their lives.
· Phase 1: Qualitative – a comprehensive, global literature review and focus groups among Millennial women in the United States, France, and Japan
· Phase 2: Quantitative – for which a 15-minute telephone survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,000 Millennial women age 21 to 29 across five countries: Brazil, France, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. A sufficient sample of respondents across the Millennial generation – Younger Millennials (age 21-24) and Older Millennials (age 25-29) – was obtained in order to compare perceptions, behaviors and trends.
In response to these findings, the Levi’s® brand has launched a dynamic website ShapeWhatsToCome.com, a global online community where women around the world can connect with peers and mentors to shape their futures.
“Since introducing the first pair of women’s jeans 75 years ago, the Levi’s® brand has been a relevant part of women’s lives,” said Mary Alderete, Vice President of Levi’s® Global Women’s Marketing. “Today, young women face more opportunity in their twenties than any generation of women before them. It’s important we understand their mindset and their cultural and societal impact. We truly see ShapeWhat’sToCome.com as a community of women changing the world – it’s a global platform of women coming together to share, inspire, grow and shape their futures.”
The Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study shows that women in their 20s are experiencing a world unlike women of previous generations. Aside from living in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment, there are many choices and options open to Millennial women and technology has dramatically increased their access to these different avenues in their lives. While these women are independent and focused on carving their own path in life, they are also actively looking for mentorship. But these Millennials view mentorship differently and now they are reinventing it: rather than a one-to-one, inter-generational passing of advice, they prefer to engage with their peers and other women of all ages and in different parts of the world who have experiences in their areas of interest.
Key highlights from the Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study include:
Redefining success and how to get there:
· Ninety-six percent of Millennial women worldwide list “being independent” as their most important life goal.
· Meanwhile, 87 percent of women surveyed defined success as “being able to shape their future.”
· Last on Millennials’ priority list? Marriage and other more traditional pursuits – being a mother (68 percent), getting married (50 percent) and being wealthy (43 percent), were seen as far less essential in defining success.
- Not only are Millennial women reshaping what success looks like, they’re changing the way they reach their goals as well. More than half (58 percent) of women worldwide “do not have a definite plan to achieve their long-term goals.” This lack of a “life plan” is precisely what Millennial women seem to relish—and perhaps what makes previous generations so nervous, leading to accusations of extending childhood into their twenties.
- While they might not desire a prescribed path, Millennial women do express a need for perspective from other women. To that end, they are re-imagining traditional mentorship —transforming it into a communal exchange that’s two-way rather than one-way, shared among many women rather than one-on-one.
- In fact, 94 percent of Millennial women agree that “the best mentors are people you can both give advice to and receive advice from.” In addition, 88 percent agree that “a mentor is someone who helps them shape their future, regardless of their age or professional experience,” and 77 percent say that “mentors can be someone their own age.”
“For many Millennial women, the expected path or ‘ladder’ towards adulthood—which included milestones such as school, career, marriage and motherhood—to be achieved in that order, has blurred,” said Lindsey Pollak, Millennial expert, bestselling author and lead collaborator on the Levi’s® Shaping a New Future study. “In its place is a web of opportunities that Millennials sample throughout their twenties, representing a different approach from previous generations. These women are challenging long-held beliefs about success as they navigate a complex world.”
ShapeWhatsToCome.com launches in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. Twenty inspiring Millennial “ambassadors”, engaged by the Levi’s® brand and living in the U.S., UK and Japan, ranging from up-and-coming artists and performers to twenty-something entrepreneurs and advocates for social change will enrich the community with content.
Millennial celebrities who are uniquely shaping the future such as Zooey Deschanel of She & Him and singer/songwriter Janelle Monae will host live videocasts to further inspire community members. Millennial women can join the discussion at www.shapewhatstocome.com.
The study and community initiative come on the heels of the August 2010 introduction of Levi’s® Curve ID, a revolutionary fit system based on shape, not size. The fit system was created as a result of studying more than 60,000 women’s body scans and listening to women around the world who expressed frustration over finding the right pair of jeans for their unique body shapes.
Mary Alderete added, “The Shape What’s To ComeSM initiative builds on our global commitment to respond to the energy and events of our time by empowering young women to shape their futures by pursuing their passions and potential.”