By 2025, Millennial and Gen Z employees are expected to make up the majority of the global workforce. In order to remain competitive in the labor market, employers will have to evaluate how to best meet the needs of these younger generations. Family-building benefits are already considered the ultimate workplace perk across industries, but these benefits will soon become a necessity for employers looking to attract, retain, and support Millennial and Gen Z employees.
Millennials’ Influence on Employer Offerings
Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, which has motivated employers to better understand their preferences in order to improve recruitment and retention. For example, Millennials value diversity, work-life balance, and 89% prioritize benefits over pay raises, leading many organizations to adjust their policies and compensation packages accordingly.
As the generation with the most education and most student loan debt, Millennials have demonstrated a trend of delaying parenthood to focus on their careers and overcome financial barriers. However, by delaying childbearing into their 30’s and early 40’s, Millennial women may find it more difficult to conceive naturally due to declining egg quality, resulting in a potential need for fertility treatment. Many young women in this generation pursue egg freezing to offset declining fertility as they age while advancing in their careers, which has prompted employers in competitive industries to offer egg freezing as a benefit to their employees.
Gen Z Aging into the Workforce
Adult members of Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2004, share similar characteristics with Millennials in terms of valuing diversity and having a career-focused mindset. Additionally, both generations prefer to work for companies that actively support DEI and employee wellbeing. Providing an inclusive family-building benefit fulfills both of these criteria and can make a company more appealing to Millennial and Gen Z talent by supporting employees’ desire for a family and making parenthood more accessible, especially for LGBTQ+ and single employees.
While many Gen Z members are not at the family-building stage yet, they are expected to mimic Millennials by delaying parenthood for financial and career-related reasons, creating a consistent demand for fertility preservation and fertility treatments for years to come. Providing family-building benefits can also give younger employees peace of mind, knowing that the benefits will be available for them to use in the future if they need it, which can support Gen Z retention efforts.
Increasing Demand for Family-Building Benefits
Millennials and Gen Z are similar in many ways, however Gen Z members will likely play a larger role in increasing demand for inclusive family-building benefits. According to one study, 1 in 5 Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ+, which is twice as many compared to Millennials. Based on this trend, members of Gen Z are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than previous generations, and this number is expected to grow once all members of Gen Z officially reach adulthood in 2030. With this in mind, it is also important to note that sixty-three percent of LGBTQ+ people expect to use fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy to build their families. Ultimately, as the LGBTQ+ identification rate rises, the demand for benefits that cover fertility treatment, adoption, and surrogacy is expected to increase. By offering WINFertility’s inclusive family-building benefits, employers can satisfy this demand and make parenthood accessible for LGBTQ+ employees, which bolsters DEI initiatives and demonstrates to potential talent that the company cares about all of its employees.
However, employers must be aware that not all fertility treatment benefits are created equal. Policies that require a diagnosis of infertility to access the benefit can exclude LGBTQ+ employees from receiving fertility treatment coverage. By waiving the requirement for a diagnosis of infertility, all employees seeking to build their family can have a more equitable experience. WIN’s benefits are designed with an inclusive definition of infertility in mind, allowing LGBTQ+ employees to access the treatments they need to become parents.
Gen Z members are also more likely to make mental health a priority. In fact, thirty-seven percent reported to have received therapy or treatment from a mental health professional. In the coming years, Gen Z members building a family through fertility treatment, adoption, or surrogacy will likely demonstrate heightened interest in specialized mental health support. In addition to providing family-building benefits, the expert guidance of WIN’s Reproductive Behavioral Health – trained Nurse Care Managers allows members to receive personalized support, helping them to develop healthy coping strategies that can improve their mental wellbeing throughout the family-building process.
Providing an inclusive and comprehensive family-building benefit directly aligns with the needs of Millennials and Gen Z by facilitating all paths to parenthood while supporting employee wellbeing, diversity, equity and inclusion. Ultimately, these benefits are a crucial recruitment and retention tool as both generations become the workforce majority in the coming years. Click here to learn more about WINFertility’s family-building solutions that can help employers appeal to a Millennial and Gen Z workforce.