Gen Z, women and Latin Americans are leading change in creativity

Diverse groups are willing to take more creative risks.

Creativity is skewing younger, female and South American, according to an annual ideas report from WeTransfer that surveyed 10,000 marketers, filmmakers, PR professionals and designers across 135 countries. 

Creatives in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia are 12% more likely to take risks than their Western counterparts, with 11% reporting feeling more confident in their ideas and 11% more optimistic about their careers. South American creatives are also younger, with only 30% of creative workers in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico aged 45 or older, compared to 55% of U.S.-based creatives. 

Gen Z, or people under age 25, are also bursting with creative energy. Sixty-one percent are willing to take creative risks and 53% dedicate more time to creative pursuits.

The findings suggest that as more marginalized, diverse and younger voices lead the way on creative risk-taking, the energy is ripe for creativity to thrive, said Damian Bradfield, cofounder at WeTransfer.

“There hasn't been, for quite some time, such a creative opportunity, and particularly the willingness to hear voices of the marginalized and diverse audiences,” he said.

Women also represent agents of change in creativity. After facing the brunt of burnout, layoffs and depression during the pandemic, women are prepared to use creativity to tackle issues such as gender equality (58%), racial equality and justice (52%) and LGBTQ+ rights (33%) in the workplace. 

About half of women, nonbinary people and people of color also want to align their personal values with their professional work, compared to 33% of white men. 

Despite the creative energy among these cohorts, they are under more pressure than their counterparts. 

Half of Gen Z respondents cited mental health issues as a main creative distraction during the pandemic, followed by isolation (40%) and financial concerns (39%). Many feel underpaid, undervalued and overworked. As a result, 60% are thinking of switching jobs in the next six months. 

Issues like sustainability and racial and social justice remain top of mind for Gen Z and people of color, adding to mounting pressure. Seventy-five percent of Gen Z respondents think it's vital for brands to be committed to climate, racial and social justice issues. But they don’t think brands will save the world, with 58% remaining committed to solving those issues themselves. 

Still, Gen Z is 10% more likely to take creative risks than other generations, something Bradfield said may continue to perpetuate the Great Resignation.

“If more people are resigning, and are prepared to take bigger risks and =work for themselves, I see a major shift towards a much more creative era,” he said. “People are going to [make] their money using their own media and being influential in their own right without being held back or filtered.”

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