Millennials. Whether you love them or not, everyone has something to say about them. Today, they make up 38% of the workforce, and in 2025, they will make up 75%. They are a force to be reckoned with, particularly female millennials, who are leaving corporate life in droves.
Why They Quit
Despite millennials, as a group, having crippling amounts of debt mostly from student loans, they flock to large metropolitan areas, live in shoebox apartments, and find jobs to sustain them. While they make less than baby boomers at the same stage of life, millennials are frequently seen as “fickle” and all too willing to quit on a whim, using their savings to keep them going until they find their next job. A 2016 Deloitte study found that two in three millennials expect to change jobs by 2020.
However, young women are leaving their corporate jobs to be a part of something bigger. A shocking 86% of women surveyed in a study by REALleft their corporate jobs to start their own companies. In this survey, 43% of respondents said they left because they weren’t following their passion, and 33% said they felt too restricted in their current corporate life.
Apart from these reasons, young women expressed leaving their jobs because they felt they weren’t progressing fast enough, felt they couldn’t influence the company in a meaningful way, and felt there weren’t many learning opportunities at their current company.
Millennials, particularly female, are more likely to resign if they feel they are not getting any value out of their work or if they feel like they need to compromise their morals to do their job. Young women also cite wage inequality, being overlooked for promotions, and a lack of female mentors as reasons for leaving their job and corporate life.
What They Create
The exciting part of all of this is that female millennial entrepreneurs are creating some amazing companies as a result. Authenticity, trust, and transparency are key values in their business ventures. This ideology extends beyond how they treat others in their organization to how they do business with their partners, suppliers, and customers. With these values, these young entrepreneurs focus on creating social impact, whether it’s through their business model or opting to purchase from a supplier that incorporates social good into their business model.
Within the organizations themselves, these entrepreneurs seek to gain executive experience while creating an organizational environment that reflects their values. In a way, they create companies that offer everything they couldn’t find in their old organizations. This includes forming a relatively flat company structure, wage equality, creating an environment of transparency, providing the opportunity for everyone to express their ideas, and ensuring those ideas are considered. These companies also tend to offer more autonomy, which also includes role fluidity to get the job done and more chances to learn new skills.
There are countless success stories of female millennials starting wildly successful businesses. To give you some inspiration, here are some of my favorite examples.
Founded by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna during their time in business school, Birchbox is a beauty subscription service that has become synonymous with the term “subscription box.” Since shipping its first box in 2010, the company has raised $71.9 million dollars in funding as of 2016.
As of 2015, Birchbox has over 1 million subscribers receiving boxes packed with samples from over 800 beauty brands. The company started offering full-size product purchases in addition to the box subscription and has achieved a 50% conversion rate on those large-sized items from their subscription base.
Rent The Runway
Started by another business school dynamic-duo, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Rent the Runway is another company that shook up its industry. Rent the Runway is an online dress and accessory rental service that rents out designer dresses for a fraction of the cost of purchasing. Since its founding in 2009, the company has grown to have over 6 million users, nearly 1000 employees, and 400 brand partners. They have also raised over $190 million in venture capital.
Before business school, Jennifer Fleiss had a career in corporate strategy working for Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers while Jennifer Hyman worked for Starwood Hotels, WeddingChannel.com, and IMG.
Rent the Runway boasts an executive team made up of 65% women and 20% non-whites, a fact they like to point out as it’s vastly different from other tech startups, whose executive teams feature 68.5% white men.
FEED is a fantastic example of a female entrepreneur starting a business with social responsibility and impact in mind. Founded by Lauren Bush in 2007, FEED is an online retailer selling bags, T-shirts, and accessories made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and vegetarian leather. Apart from environmentally friendly materials, the company is also on a mission to provide meals to children in developing countries, which, in turn, decreases the dropout rate in schools and helps the community.
Lauren Bush attended Princeton, had a brief career in modeling, and was an Ambassador for the World Food Program. After visiting Chad as part of the program, Lauren started on her mission to help lift children out of poverty in developing nations. She commits to producing her products in an eco-friendly manner as well as employing local artisans in South America and Africa to provide an income as well as ties to the community to provide meals.
You don’t even need to be a millennial woman to try your hand at entrepreneurship. And you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of mentors, networks and resources to help you take your passion from idea to reality.
This article was originally featured on Forbes.com