As part of my dissertation work, I had the opportunity to interview several male and female city managers in the United States. This particular article reflects on my firsthand observation from how Generation Y female city managers value work and family. The article also finds specific interest to highlight my observation on clear generational differences on the meaning of work and family.
In spring of 2016, I wrote a review of Madinah F. Hamidullah’s Managing the Next Generation of Public Workers. In this book, Hamidullah summarizes how generational similarities and differences in work value and commitment can be recognized and integrated in order to manage diverse workforces. Beyond that, her book establishes a discussion on how such similarities and differences can be acknowledged and integrated in workforce recruitment, engagement and integration within the existing multiple generations workforce in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Hamidullah argues that different generations have their own distinct set of ideals, experiences, expectations and outlooks toward work, family and public service. Although investigating generational differences was not the center of my research, Hamidullah’s book has opened my eyes to the ways in which generational differences may be at play in defining work and outside of work responsibilities for my study population, city managers. Therefore, I intend to highlight some of the ways that Generation Y female city managers distinctly differ from female city managers from previous generations in the way they value work, family and the space in between.