Millennials: Challenging the 'red pen' and changing the way we think about wealth

12 October 2017

  • Leading panellists at JLT’s diversity event on 28 September 2017 revealed valuable insights on the importance of adequate feedback for Millennials and how Gen Y are fuelling the ‘experience economy’, fundamentally changing the way we view wealth.

JLT’s ‘Millennials don’t have time for breakfast. So what do they have time for?’ event, part of the Dive In festival, featured panelists James Harmer, Divisional Manager, JLT, Nikki Heald, Managing Director of Corp Training, and Demetrio Zema, founder of LawSquared, who focused on how millennials are challenging traditional conventions – unapologetically.

The supposedly ‘smashed avocado, meme-loving, self-absorbed’ generation is changing the way we understand and view a number of traditional aspects, such as wealth.

“The most distinguishing feature about Millennials is their understanding of wealth,” said James.

“Every generation since the industrial revolution has defined personal wealth as disposable income, property and pension. What we are seeing in Generation Y is a shift toward wealth being characterised as ‘experiences of value’. The wealthy are those who get to travel internationally, get involved in social projects, have access to learning and development, or work on innovative projects. We have also seen a change in the way that people exhibit wealth; everything is shared on social media. A Millennial posting an international secondment on their LinkedIn profile is the equivalent of buying a flash car and driving it around the neighbourhood,” added James.

According to the report, Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy, by Eventbrite, Millennials have over $1.5 trillion dollars in purchasing power and “78% of them would prefer to spend money on events and experiences.”

The panel discussion led by Reece Corbett-Wilkins, Lawyer at Norton-Rose Fulbright, also unearthed interesting insights on Gen Y’s take on feedback and their dissatisfaction with the ‘red pen - no feedback’ approach.

The panelists highlighted that Millennials are a generation of risk takers, challenging the ‘red pen’ regardless of hierarchy and status, in the pursuit of innovation.

“Being a Millennial, I know the love for feedback that we have – we want regular, constructive feedback and we aren’t afraid of the red pen. We want to be told why and why not, learn quickly and be rewarded even faster,” added attendee, Trent Milvain, Finance and Operations Manager, Law Squared.

A recent survey by Clutch, leading B2B ratings and reviews site, found that 72% of Millennials who consistently receive accurate feedback from their managers are satisfied at work, and therefore are less likely to change jobs.

“Millennials have grown up being told they can achieve anything. Whilst some say this has resulted in an undue sense of entitlement, I believe it has resulted in an entire generation of risk takers. There is both a challenge, and an opportunity ahead for the insurance industry in capitalising on that entrepreneurial spirit whilst maintaining the pragmatism required to run a business," said James.

The event, hosted at JLT’s new Sydney office at Grosvenor Place attracted a diverse crowd with 150 industry professionals in support of the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Festival.

“Diversity in age provides diversity in corporate thinking, which is critical to corporate success, so we welcome Millennial input,” said André Louw, Chairman of JLT.

JLT proudly supports a diverse and inclusive workplace to accommodate and promote positive change.

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Name: Diya Ingleshwar, Public Relations and Communications Executive, JLT

Phone: 02 9290 8075 / 0409 369 557



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Jardine Lloyd Thompson is one of the world’s leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services. JLT’s client proposition is built upon its deep specialist knowledge, client advocacy, tailored advice and service excellence.

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