The Merits of Generation X Women in Workplace
June 11, 2018

Generation X has significantly shaped on our modern workplace. Born roughly between 1965 and 1981, Generation X is often irreverently referred to as the “middle child” of generations—sandwiched between the larger Baby Boomers and Millennials. In honor Gen X, particularly Gen X women like us, we’d like to highlight some of our unique, professional contributions.

Gen X – Just the Facts
For those of you, who are not as familiar Gen X, let us provide you with a little background information about our people. Generation X came of age watching family TV sitcoms like Growing Pains and Family Ties and saw our girlie, teenage angst reflected in movies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. We played video games on our Atari systems and had a constant stream of Michael Jackson and Madonna playing on our Walkman cassette recorders. HIV/AIDS, the fall of communism and the rise of hip-hop dominated the media during our childhoods. We were the first latch-key kids and the first generation to feel the widespread impact of divorce.

Gen X Women at Work
Our collective childhood experiences have shaped us and provided a backdrop for our professional identity as Gen X women in the workplace. Independent– Gen Xers are independent, self-starters. We saw our parents suffer during the layoffs of the 80s, which have caused us to develop a healthy skepticism when it comes to corporations. We have seen how professional loyalty is not always rewarded, making Gen X women more likely to leave an employer for more challenging work, a higher salary or better benefits.

Trailblazers – Simply put, Gen X women are trailblazers. Today, more than a third of Gen X women hold management positions and a quarter are business owners. Currently, there are more than 11.6 million companiesprimary or equal wage earners in our households. Gen X women are natural leaders, who are less impeded by what others might think of us.

Work-Life Balance – Gen X women value work-life balance more than any other generation. Today, 60 percent of women see work-life balance as important compared to 48 percent of men. Gen X women have also put their money where their mouths are by leading the way for work-life balance in their professional environments, including advocating for flexible work schedules, telecommuting and formal maternity leave policies.

Hardworking – Gen X women are tenacious and hard working. According to a recent survey, 80 percent of Gen Xers feel it is important for others to see them as someone who knows how to get things done. Gen X women believe in putting in the difficult effort to create success. We are also the first generation in significant numbers responsible for caring for both young children and aging parents at the same time, which means we have had to be more deliberate with allocating our time. 

Life-Long Learners – To stay competitive in today’s job market, Gen X women have turned to education to expand their knowledge and create greater career opportunities. Gen X women are more likely to invest time and resources in increasing their professional skills outside of the workplace. Gen Xers have the highest level of education with a greater number of both undergraduate and graduate degrees compared to previous generations. By age 33, 20 percent of Gen X women had earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 14 percent of women in the baby-boom generation.

For all of these reasons, we are more proud than ever to be Gen X women. We are strong, courageous and dedicated people, business owners and employees. We have led the way for change and made a positive, lasting impact on the professional landscape. So rather than the forgotten “middle child” generation, we see us as the delicious filling in an Oreo cookie, which we all know is the best part, right?

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