Bare Minimum Mondays? Almost 3 in 5 Professionals Think Career-Related ‘Hashtags’ Play Into Workplace Stereotypes

Career Climbers / 4th December 2023

Over half (59%) of professionals stated that career-related hashtags like #GirlBoss, #CorporateQueen, and #LazyGirlJobs play into dangerous workplace stereotypes.

The trend – driven by social media – has seen the emergence of short and snappy ‘hashtags’ to describe emerging workplace trends. These have been a combination of seemingly positive hashtags such as #GirlBoss, #CorporateQueen, and #WorkingMum, and those with a negative tone, including the likes of #QuietQuitting, #RageApplying, #BareMinumumMondays, and #LazyGirlJobs.

A poll – by staffing firm Walters People – has revealed that three-quarters of professionals feel that such hashtags are based exclusively on the experiences of young professionals – whilst a quarter of professionals actually feel that they are a ‘realistic’ reflection of what we are seeing in workplaces.

Pushing workplace stereotypes

Two in five professionals (39%) have found the recent rise in career-related hashtags – such as #GirlBoss – damaging and limiting for young people.

In addition to the almost three-fifths of professionals who state that these hashtags play into dangerous stereotypes – a further quarter go as far as to say it has added to gender-based workplace inequality.

Only a minority (13%) feel that such hashtags empower female professionals and have had a positive impact on encouraging more open conversations.

Janine Blacksley, Director of Walters People UK, comments: “Workplace trends are nothing new – just like consumer behaviour, we have changes in behaviour in the workplace all the time. However, with the emergence of social media – where there is a heightened use amongst young people – certain notions around having a job are being trivialised.

“On TikTok, we see videos of people trying to get away with ‘not working’ when based remotely, or scenes that mock certain characters or scenes within a workplace.

“What is most worrying – given all the work being done to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace – is how certain hashtags are either playing into or creating new stereotypes, particularly for young professionals or females.”

Gen Z’s taking to TikTok

When asked who these trends are predominantly based on, 7 in 10 professionals felt it was young professionals – with almost a quarter (24%) pointing to female professionals as the creators.

“Career TikTok” has seen a recent buzz with TikTok users such as @loewhaley, who offers career advice to her 3.7 million followers. Advice ranges from mistakes to avoid in interviews to tips on changing careers and Q&As on how to be successful in a range of workplace situations.

Janine adds: “Career trends & hashtags seem to be a new way of Gen Z airing grievances with jobs they’ve had and quit – take for example #QuietQutting promotes the idea of doing the ‘bare minimum’ in a job when your needs aren’t being met, rather than the age-old notion of ‘going above and beyond’ to get what you asked for.”

According to the Walters People poll, professionals over 30 years of age are highly unlikely to use social media to vent their frustrations. In fact, over three-fifths said they would speak with friends and family, 16% opted to turn to their colleagues, 18% would keep work issues to themselves – and only 1% said they’d share on social media.

Interestingly – when the same question was put to Gen Z professionals, just under a third (32%) said they’d go to friends and family, 20% said they’d talk to their colleagues, 8% said they’d keep it to themselves – whilst the majority (40%) opted to share their bad experiences on their social media.

 

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