Two out of Three Millennial Women Say Access to Role Models and Mentors at Would Increase their Confidence at Work

Tone Networks, a digital executive coaching platform for women, announced today findings from a national survey that shows executive coaching and access to role models and mentors could be the link to lowering stress levels and increasing workplace confidence amongst Millennial women. Two out of three (68%) Millennial women said having access to coaching and leadership development tools would lead them to feel more confident and less stressed, although two out of five (44%) Millennials said their job does not provide adequate access to mentors, and 43 percent said their job doesn’t provide adequate access to role models.

“We’re experiencing a period of unprecedented uncertainty and new ways of working, increasing the need to provide women with tools to help them reduce stress, engage more with their work, and maintain a sense of normalcy each day,” said Gemma Toner, Founder and CEO of Tone Networks. “We found that when Millennials feel more confident at work, their perceived stress decreases by 25 percent. There are ways for companies to address the gap by providing adequate resources and access to coaching, learning and development tools.”

Perceived stress is a combination of factors. The four top factors that impact Millennials’ levels of perceived stress at work are:

  • How socially connected they feel to their colleagues
  • If they’re experiencing “imposter syndrome”
  • Overall job satisfaction
  • Perceived overall competence

Results from the study also demonstrate that employers can take an active role in lowering employees’ stress levels. Companies that implement programs or provide resources to help with all of these four factors can see a collective reduction of stress amongst Millennial employees of up to 37 percent. Additionally, giving employees access to learning tools and development training to advance in their careers can lower perceived stress by almost 10 percent.

Additional findings from the study include:

Imposter syndrome is linked to lack of access to resources: The top predictor of “Imposter syndrome” for Millennial women is having a lack of access to career advancement tools, while the top predictor for non-Millennials is a lack of career coaching.

Millennials prefer online learning: 65 percent of women surveyed reported they prefer online learning tools, and 58 percent prefer to learn through videos instead of reading.

Offering resources to help with these areas is also shown to directly impact employees in a positive way; Tone’s 2020 customer experience study showed that 89 percent of employees who engage with Tone report it made a positive impact on their personal and professional development, and over 50 percent reported Tone has helped them better handle stress.

Gemma Toner added, “In this current work environment where many Millennial entry-level and mid-stage career women are working from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, it’s important for companies to ensure that they’re providing them with right virtual resources to further their growth and development; lowering stress goes hand in hand with advancing professionally and becoming more confident and successful at work.”


This survey was conducted online in 2020 on behalf of Tone Networks by Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway, PhD of 400 U.S. adults aged 18-54, weighted towards women.

For the purpose of this study, “perceived stress” is defined as: “the feelings or thoughts that an individual has about how much stress they are under at a given point in time or over a given time period. Perceived stress incorporates feelings about the uncontrollability and unpredictability of one’s life, how often one has to deal with irritating hassles, how much change is occurring in one’s life, and confidence in one’s ability to deal with problems or difficulties.”

Reference: High Perceived Stress in Relation to Life Events Is Associated With Blunted Cardiac Reactivity; Annie T Ginty and Sarah M Conklin; Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program, Allegheny College.

2 “Imposter syndrome,” or imposter phenomenon, “occurs among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud.”

Reference: Feel like a fraud?; Kirsten Weir, American Psychological Association

About Tone Networks

Tone Networks, launched in October 2017, is a subscription-based website social network for women, delivering real advice from credentialed experts through short videos, and helping busy women grow personally and professionally. As a one-stop resource for self-care, the content is personalized and can be consumed in minutes. Tone Networks has more than 1,000 videos from credentialed experts in productivity, money, and health. Tone also partners with multiple great companies that are dedicated to women’s advancement within their organizations, including AMC Networks, Atlanta Braves, and JetBlue.

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