Generations exist on a continuum and there’s a large degree of variation within them. But together, Millennials and Zoomers—two similar yet very unique generations—have the power to change the world and our industry for the better by advancing the very essence of what diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) mean simply because of our foundational upbringing, the opportunities in front of us and the unique place we hold in society.
We are survivors of multiple crises that shaped our upbringings—the 9/11 terrorist attacks, school shootings, the recession of the late 2000s, vast political divides, a reckoning with racial justice and a worldwide health and economic crisis, among others. We’ve also seen multiple instances of heightened activism, including the creation and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the right to same-sex marriage, the Women’s March of 2017 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Both generations have also seen a Black man serve as president, and now a Black woman become vice president for the United States.
These generations have seen change in action, making us more resilient and increasing our tendency to be uncompromising in our values. As a result, we know that we—as a collective human race—can do more to better position future generations, and we have a responsibility to accelerate what’s right. Millennials and Zoomers will continue to push for change because we’ve been in the midst of change for the majority of our lives. We’ve seen it, we know it—and we can and should continue to demand it from anyone who resists it.