This week we have seen the gender debate rear it’s head in a new way. The nerve center of the democratic political media war was about how younger women view feminism. Semantics, discouragement and an overwhelming lack of positive regard to younger generation’s ability to view the gender gap the way that the older generations did was the conversation of the week.

Let’s do something positive for young women, starting with respecting their world view. Having grown up at a time where their parents’ foreclosures taught them about economic safety, and volatile job market taught them about choices, I think we owe them a bit more respect.

Photo Credit: © Christine Langer-püschel |
Millennials are the most studied generation in history. They have been researched and analyzed for the benefit of those who want to lead them. But an equal amount of study has not been done on how to prepare them to lead the other generations. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce – approximately 80 million Americans – and they are overwhelmingly avoiding a critical commercial entry path into corporations, sales careers. As a result, organizations are struggling with a daunting lack of Millennial sales job applicants. Women avoid pursuing Sales careers at an even greater level.

Most Millennials have a negative view of sales. They often perceive sales careers to be lacking in job security. Female Millennials are as even less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t feel 100% qualified, less apt to apply for promotions, and are less prone to take risks if they perceive a high potential for failure. There are other reasons that they avoid sales as a career. They perhaps view sales as having a demanding work schedule. This would conflict with the high value they place on balancing work with having a “life” for themselves outside of work.

As a result of this thinking and avoidance, a career in sales is perhaps the greatest kept secret ever. In reality, it is a top-earning profession and will continue to be so throughout the next few decades. There are few other careers that give someone more flexibility and opportunity to balance work and having a personal and social life. Also, there is an incredibly high payoff and relatively low barrier to entry unlike any other position. There are no other careers that have a greater potential for advancement, and among fortune 500 CEOs, a sales background is one of the most common.

Let’s do something positive this week for our gender. Let’s encourage them to get into sales. Nominate a female colleague in sales today at the Women in Sales Awards, for North America. Let’s change the conversation about young women and encourage them to reconsider where they are most crucially needed.

This post originally appeared on linkedin.