But for Millennial leaders—namely, young women leaders—this is the land they’ve always known. Uncertainty is their homeland. They’ve learned how to navigate it, how to laugh at themselves when they mess up, how to let themselves be seen. As they discover what it means to be human, to need one another, to see the potential in limitation, they’re leading their male counterparts. Will we let them lead us?
Here’s what I’m learning from the Millennial women leaders in my life:
1. Millennial Women are Redefining Leadership
Although they’ve grown up watching a polished kind of leadership, that model doesn’t feel right to them as emerging leaders. That kind of leadership made them question their own ability to lead, so now they’re experimenting with how transparency and vulnerability could look, inviting others in behind the scenes of their doubt and wrestling and trusting that God’s strength can be shown in weakness.
2. Millennial Women Value Substance and Authenticity
These young women aren’t fooled by superficiality, and they work to be who they claim to be. They long for substance and honesty, even if it’s uncomfortable. They understand that the world is complicated, and they’re learning that God is found in the mess.
3. Millennial Women Both Study and Create Culture
Although they may have been raised in Christian families which protected them from secular culture, they’re unafraid of it, always looking for signs of life and hope in it. They see movies, fashion, magazines, music, and social media as places to find clues of how God is at work in the world. Beyond simply observing culture, they have their own part in creating it, often choosing to communicate in clever, funny, and self-effacing ways.
4. Millennial Women are Interested in Justice and Compassion
In their lifetimes, many of these women have watched their schools, neighborhoods, and TV shows become more diverse, so they’re comfortable with difference. This generation’s access to the Internet has exposed them to experiences very different from their own, and these insights inform their moral choices which extends to what they eat and wear, where they live and shop. They have a sense of themselves, but are also open to others (which includes navigating the larger than normal generation gap between themselves and their parents).