Gressler chose Goodstein’s clients suspecting that Goodstein would like some but not others. Gressler knew that Goodstein, like other millennials, has a clear sense of right and wrong and doesn’t back down from a position easily. Could Goodstein separate her political and personal beliefs from her role with particular clients? She has, Gressler says.
Gressler understands that she is sometimes seen by peers as coddling her young staff. When she was Goodstein’s age, she was a full-time computer programmer for the Ohio phone service provider Cincinnati Bell. At the end of a day, she gladly left coding and most colleagues behind.
Millennials do their best work in a more mobile environment, she says. They may make a couple of calls to clients before they arrive at the office. They may eat lunch while they’re talking to clients on their smartphones, or have drinks with buddies early in the evening, then return home to do more work. “Everyone has benchmarks they must meet,” she reminds her team.
She is proud of them. They work collaboratively and cohesively, she says. But there’s a downside to that cohesiveness: “When they start to go, they’ll all go. That’s the risk you take.”
Since Blackbaud purchased Convio, Goodstein’s job remains essentially the same: to represent the company to clients and clients to company. She speaks to each client on the phone for an hour at least once a month and e-mails or texts them regularly to give them data on how successful their fundraising is so far, or what meetings are coming up in which they might have an interest.
“She keeps pushing us, which I love,” says one of her clients, Pam Rutter, web manager of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization. “I have two daughters, 22 and 17. They have to be more sophisticated; with technology, it’s a bigger world and closer to them. Emily and my daughters are more connected to the world than I was until I was 30.”
Both Goodstein and Cristol say they are satisfied with their levels of responsibility and wages. Goodstein negotiated her salary before joining Blackbaud; Cristol says Education First has an open, entrepreneurial attitude toward compensation and promotion “in part because of the women in leadership positions.”
One has to wonder — if the economy’s slow recovery stalls, jobs become scarcer or promotions less likely — will the confidence of millennial women diminish? As they take on more responsibilities, personal as well as professional, will their inner resources remain strong or will they flag?
To use an outdated but apt comparison, will they become Scarlett O’Haras, energetic and pragmatic women who push ahead, or will they take to their beds like Melanie Wilkes, weak and resigned to second-place status?
I’m betting on the Scarletts. Goodstein says there’s no way to predict. “The biggest thing I keep reminding myself is that right now I have a job I like and two big hobbies,” she says, “and I do all those things to the fullest.”
Laura Sessions Stepp, a former reporter for The Post, is author of two books about young people, both published by Riverhead Books, and is a senior media fellow at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Post senior research analyst David J. Barie contributed to this report. To comment on this story, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.