Study: Millennial men face pressure to 'be it all' as gender roles shift
- Millennial men, a group born between 1982 and 2000 with estimated spending power of more than $1 trillion a year, are coping with competing definitions of manhood and masculinity as part of an expectation to "be it all," according to a study by ad agency Hill Holiday and researcher Origin.
- About two-thirds (65%) of millennial men believe the most important job of a good man is providing for his family financially, while 75% consider themselves to be the primary caregiver at home, per the study. More than half (60%) of millennial dads said their role as a caregiver has affected their professional career, while 93% said they would be happy if men and women have equal parenting and household responsibilities in 10 years.
- Almost all millennial men (90%) said the #MeToo movement to raise awareness of sexual harassment has informed their personal and work lives. The full study is based on the views of 2,200 U.S. respondents, including 1,800 men and 400 women, ages 18 and older.
Hill Holiday and Origin's survey highlights some key trends among millennial men as the oldest among the group approaches middle age while the youngest have barely left childhood. An overriding theme is that millennial men feel a tension between their professional and personal lives, a characteristic that should inform how brands seek to make themselves relevant to the group and connect with them on a level that will resonate. According to the study, millennial men are torn between fulfilling traditional expectations of providing for their families, which may mean working long hours at a job, traveling and attending business-related events and being emotionally connected with their families. Some brands have already started breaking with traditional notions of masculinity.
For mobile marketers, the findings suggest that millennial males may need help in finding the right work-life balance. That could translate into user-friendly apps to help manage a work schedule or to provide social interaction with their families remotely. Various segments of the restaurant industry are adapting to the needs of millennials with mobile ordering and food delivery that help to save time at home. In the U.S., millennials are the biggest segment of the workforce with 56 million people working or looking for work, compared with 53 million Generation Xers and 41 million baby boomers, according to Pew research. That translates into a significant number of people who are interacting with brands and marketing messages amid early stages of forming loyalties that could last decades.
Millennials are also typically considered tech-savvy, with 92% owning smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers, 67% of baby boomers and 30% of the Silent Generation, per Pew. Almost all millennials (97%) use the internet, with 28% of them being smartphone-only internet users, which means they own a smartphone but don't have traditional broadband service at home. That means a significant portion of the age group can only be reached online through a mobile device, something that brands also need to consider in developing marketing campaigns aimed at millennials.
- Hill Holliday / Business Wire Millennial Men Feel the Pressure to 'Be It All'
- Pew Research Center Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life
- Marketing Dive Goodbye, Marlboro Man: How marketers are breaking with traditional notions of masculinity