Millennials are furious at ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose’s comments that younger workers lack resilience.
Speaking in London, Buttrose said younger workers “need much more reassurance and they need to be thanked”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Also read: Young and female in the 'unlucky' generation
"They're very keen on being thanked and they almost need hugging – that's before COVID of course, we can't hug any more – but they almost need hugging,” she continued.
The 78-year-old media giant said younger workers “seem to lack the resilience that I remember from my younger days”.
"Whether that's because of bad parenting, I don't know, and I don't want to go down that path and offend young parents but I am an older parent, and we older parents have very set views about resilience and, you know, I think it's something we need to foster in everybody from a very young age."
Buttrose is known in Australia for starting as a copy girl at The Australian Women’s Weekly, before becoming editor. Buttrose also founded Cleo magazine.
The ABC chairwoman’s words - which come in the midst of a global pandemic that has hit young workers hardest - have hit a nerve, setting “Ita Buttrose” to trend on Twitter.
ABC reporter Mridula Amin described her comments as a “slap in the face”.
“It's not hugs that make us dedicate our lives to journalism in the current climate - it's resilience, and I'm quite frankly tired of lazy inaccurate tropes,” she said.
What a slap in the face as a millennial reporter for @abcnews to read these comments @ItaButtrose. It's not hugs that make us dedicate our lives to journalism in the current climate - it's resilience, and I'm quite frankly tired of lazy inaccurate tropes. https://t.co/4lknHP011F— Mridula Amin (@Mridula_Amin) July 23, 2020
Reporter Sophie McNeil also described the statements as “insulting”.
“Us millennials at the ABC were usually paid less but expected to do so much more than many of our older colleagues, plus many are on insecure contracts for years,” she said.
Lack resilience? How insulting. Us millennials at the ABC were usually paid less but expected to do so much more than many of our older colleagues, plus many are on insecure contracts for years - @ItaButtrose clearly needs to go & meet more of them https://t.co/TFf2SW5xFg— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) July 22, 2020
The media industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with Bauer Media Australia announcing plans to shutter eight titles earlier this week.
10 Daily and Buzzfeed News Australia have shut operations entirely.
More broadly, the pandemic has been described as “devastating” for young people . Fund management firm Fidelity estimates the youth unemployment rate is likely to be double the official figures reported. That means it’s closer to 32 per cent.
“Arguably, the unemployment rate is not reflecting the true devastation that Covid-19 has had on Australia’s 15-24 year old workforce, given a large proportion are employed in the heavily impacted food service, retail, hospitality, and tourism sectors,” said Fidelity International’s Anthony Doyle.
And he warned the pandemic will have long-lasting ramifications, a statement backed up by EY research.
“A recessionary jobs market can have a disproportionate medium-term impact on those early in their career and with limited experience, through lower wage growth and fewer opportunities and flexibility,” the EY report found.
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.
Follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.