What my millennials taught me
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
By Marie Quintana
spent the last two years embracing change at lighting speed — some of it good, some
of it full of growing pains. Life brought changes that touched every aspect of
my being — relationships, career, parents, kids, even my dogs.
changes trigger life retrospection, which eventually leads to reprioritization
of what we value. As a result, I now find myself taking more time to focus and
understand more of the "why" behind the "what" of every
experience that comes my way.
would never have imagined that in this stage of my life I would be sharing my
home with my 24-year-old daughter and my 24-year-old niece. But this change has
enlightened me in so many unexpected ways.
initially thought of this arrangement as an opportunity to share my wealth of
life experiences with these recent college grads. Life, though, had a different
the last two years these young ladies imparted their wisdom to me. This turning of the tables exposed me to new ideas
that forced me to reconsider my viewpoints, which eventually changed my
behaviors. Shouldn’t this have been the other way around?
are three Hispanic career women, close-knit roommates sharing our thoughts,
opinions, recommendations and recipes while respecting each other’s uniqueness.
My daughter and niece have taught me to eat healthier and work out more
consistently. They've helped expand my music tastes and palate, introduced me
to new brands I wouldn't have tried and influenced my store choices.
the business front, my roommates have experienced difficult situations. I
marvel at how they solve them through their authentic confrontation and
persistence to get the situation resolved. There is no time in their lives for
unresolved office politics. They live out their experiences through authentic
conversations and expect others to do the same.
diverse thoughts and actions are evident in every aspect of their being. For
them, diversity training is living every day by embracing others with differences. In fact, they prefer to have friends and
co-workers that are diverse because they want to learn and celebrate other
people’s different experiences.
The millennial generation is the most racially diverse generation ever. In the youngest generation, Gen Z, multiracial children will be the fastest-growing youth segment in the country.
New York-based consultant Sparks & Honey describes Generation Z like this: "They
were raised in an American education system that focused on mainstreaming and
classroom diversity. As a result they are collaborative team players.”
these two generations continue through adulthood I hope their diverse
backgrounds create and sustain more inclusive communities and organizations. I have
great expectations for this next generation of women leaders as they stand tall
and show us that diversity is not just who they are, but what they stand for.
Quintana is president of the Quintana Group, a consulting firm working with
leading companies and brands to define, refine and implement business
strategies to maximize sales results. Previously, Quintana spent 14 years with
PepsiCo Inc., most recently serving as the senior vice president of PepsiCo
multicultural sales and marketing. A past NEW Board member, she was named one
of the "Top Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer and is featured in the
book The New Woman Rules.
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