What the International Climate Strike Tells Us About the Future Workforce
On the 15th of March, over 150,000 students and their supporters joined together across Australia to strike against the general inaction of politicians and businesses towards climate change. Marching alongside students from over 100 countries, this young generation shocked the world with their passion, knowledge and very witty banners.
On top of highlighting the need for real, systemic responses to climate change, it provided an insight to the prevailing attitudes of the up and coming workforce. These were the voices of the future employees and employers, telling us loud and clear what they will stand for and what they definitely will not.
This is what we’ve learnt:
1. They care
This generation has grown up hearing about global problems – climate change, pollution, poverty, gender inequality, marriage equality, you name it - and then witnessed the long, arduous process of addressing them. They’ve seen through the implementation and reversal of green policies, the failures of environmental agreements, cowardly politicians and then the eventual tangible efforts to address decades-old issues. They’ve learnt from the slow processes of change and don’t want to waste their own time talking about issues whilst doing nothing about them.
Learning about these issues further into their careers, the current workforce has been trying to fit moral efforts neatly into their existing profit-making arrangements, however this generation have seen how that is not enough. Growing up surrounded by these imminent issues, their priorities are different. They aim to fundamentally change the way politics, business and society operates, and it only takes one look at the Climate marches to see that they’re passionate about doing so.
2. They are smart
And don’t they know it. This is a generation who knew how to operate a computer before riding a bike. They’re growing up in an age where information is rapidly available, technical skills are absorbed rather than taught, and their familiarity with technology will likely be better than those who employ them. A broad access to media is encouraging a critical perspective on the world, where they won’t be tricked by false appearances and empty promises. They are looking to work in companies that vow to address the issues they’ve grown up hearing about, and not those who wish to continue in a path of ignorance.
3. They are loud
Smart and confident, they’re habit-breakers and change-makers. Anybody within a 1km radius of Town Hall Square in Sydney will confirm that this generation are loud and unafraid to question authority. They are proactive and courageous and won’t stand for cowardly politics or unethical business practices, and will push to have their goals met.
4. They won’t take no for an answer
Strong and stubborn, this generation have proved that together, they can enact change, and understand their power to do so. They have grown up seeing the fundamental failures of the generation above them and are unafraid to correct them. These smart individuals are working in companies which cater to their interests and capabilities whilst matching their values. They have spent their lives learning about global issues and won’t accept working for companies who choose to ignore them.
Times are changing, and businesses must learn to be their best, to attract the best.
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To contribute to the Climate Strike cause, check out these charities and what they are fired up about:
Thumbnail image: James Gourley/Getty Images