Generation Z will account for more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025. To prepare for their career journeys, they’ll need resources that reflect their unique experience while helping them build skills for success.
Lisa T. Anastasi
Chief Development and Public Affairs Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
CEO, Forever 21
As the first generation to grow up fully immersed in a digital world, Gen Z is poised to rethink and revolutionize the workforce in ways that previous generations could never have imagined. And their impact on careers and money-making is also slated to be huge as they currently make up 30% of the global population and are projected to account for 27% of the workforce by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum.
Having come of age in a landscape of rapid technological change, Gen Z aims to usher in a diverse and inclusive workforce culture driven by technology, entrepreneurship, and a strong commitment to self-expression and advocacy.
“Generation Z has a real passion for making their voices heard, being authentic, and being able to express that authenticity in whatever way they want,” said Lisa Anastasi, chief development and public affairs officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “They are youth who want to create and be a part of change.”
The first fully connected generation
Generation Z has never known life without the internet. Instead, this group born between 1997 and 2012 has fully connected to digital devices and social media to gain free access to content, culture, and information from around the globe.
“For Generation Z, social media is not just influencers but rather a window to the world and means of communication,” said Winnie Park, chief executive officer of Forever 21, a national partner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “As cultural omnivores, they embrace all aspects of culture including food, music, and relevant issues.”
These tech-savvy, globally inspired youth — who, along with the rest of the world, experienced an accelerated shift in remote work and collaborative tools during the COVID-19 pandemic — are quickly mastering such emerging technologies as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality. As digital natives, they are quick to accept and adapt to new software and digital platforms, embracing innovation in the workforce.
What they’ll need, however, are the skills to navigate their workspaces and social landscapes with confidence and assurance to see their ideas realized — and that’s where Boys & Girls Clubs can help.
Foundational skills for brilliant futures
According to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2023 Youth Right Now survey, 93% of 11th and 12th graders say they know what education or training they need for the career they want. The survey also shared how hopeful and eager youth are about their potential post-high school graduation.
“The youth are our future,” Park said. “We want to be present in helping them advocate for themselves. We want to be a partner to them. We’re turning on our curiosity, asking questions, and listening closely to engage and co-create with them.”
Since their partnership’s inception, Forever 21 has worked closely with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to champion programs in character and leadership development so young people can positively impact their communities.
“Our partnership is all about lifting our youth up to give them transformational opportunities,” Anastasi said.
Forever 21 has raised more than $7 million for Boys & Girls Clubs to empower youth with digital literacy skills, as well as interview etiquette, personal branding, problem-solving, planning, and teamwork skills. With both organizations dedicated to setting up young people for success in the workplace, Generation Z can readily access professional workplace attire, insight, and confidence to start and strengthen their career journeys.