Philip Ellis
News & Views
Millennial women and the “side hustle”

We’ve all read the estimates that half of the American workforce will consist of freelancers by 2020, but what you might not know is that the majority of young women intend to be founders and creators.

The women’s careers platform Create+Cultivate and market research firm Buzz MG recently ran a survey of 400 working women who fall into the “millennial” category, to explore their social and spending habits, along with their career aspirations and general worldview. Here are the highlights.

Women At Work

Apparently, the first thing millennial women look for in a job is company culture. However, while 68 per cent of the women interviewed were employed, 58 per cent stated that entrepreneurship is the most interesting career path.

A staggering proportion of respondents were would-be entrepreneurs; 83 per cent want to own their own business, and 55 are working on a “side hustle” while in full-time employment. However, 75 per cent feel that a lack of access to capital is standing in their way, and 61 per cent say they would need between $10,000 and $25,000 to grow a business.

Shopping & Social

Half of women say that LinkedIn has been the most beneficial social network to their career, while Snapchat is seen as the “least beneficial” by 71 per cent. 82 per cent of working women are active on social media, spending the most time on Instagram, closely followed by Facebook. Three quarters of women spend two hours on social media every day, although 68 per cent say that social media has an impact on their self-esteem.

Social media and influencers are sources of trust when it comes to making a purchase, with 81 per cent of women saying these factors influence a buying decision. 76 per cent also listen to friends and peers, while 35 per cent are influenced by magazines. Only 13 per cent are swayed by “traditional” celebrities. The majority of women prefer online shopping to physical stores, and enlighteningly, a whopping 90 per cent of women in the survey said that they spend at least 30 minutes online shopping every day.


When it comes to priorities, the majority of millennial women place family as number one, followed by self, then career, and finally friends. Money and financial stability are considered more important than health or creative side projects, and 59 per cent of women say they currently have long-term investments. 81 per cent are optimistic that they will own their own home in the future.

Women’s issues are on everyone’s mind, ranking as the most prominent political concern, over the environment, immigration and tax reform. When it comes to specific women’s issues, 47 per cent are more passionate about closing the gender pay gap than they are about reproductive rights or maternity leave.


The most surprising (and perhaps the most important) insight here is the implication that over three quarters of millennial women want to be business-owners. Such growth in entrepreneurial spirit means advertisers will have to seriously rethink how to engage with millennial women, says Create+Cultivate CEO Jaclyn Johnson. If these figures are even close to accurate, they demonstrate the continual evolution of the gendered advertising narrative of the last century, “from women as homemakers, to women as corporate success stories, to women now being the CEO of their own lives and businesses.”

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