First Generation Professionals

First-generation professionals are white-collar professionals from working-class backgrounds.

Our phase 1 study

To date, very little is known about the work experience of FGPs. What does it feel like to be the “first”? What barriers make the transition harder? What unique strengths and skills are gained along the way? FirstGenTalent is the first of its kind study to answer these questions and more. Subscribe to get access to a summary of our findings.

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24%

OF FIRST GENERATION PROFESSIONALS (FGPS) FOUND THEIR FIRST PROFESSIONAL JOB THROUGH A WORK-STUDY PROGRAM, COMPARED TO 7.6% OF NON-FGPS

2x

TWICE AS MANY FGPS FOUND EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS OR OTHER COMMUNITY GROUPS IMPORTANT DURING THEIR FIRST PROFESSIONAL JOB, COMPARED TO NON-FGPS

1/2

FGPS WERE HALF AS LIKELY AS NON-FGPS TO FEEL THEIR UNIQUE SKILLS ARE VALUED IN THE PROFESSIONAL WORKPLACE

Key findings

In 2019, we completed the first round of research, focusing on the finance and utility industries in California. Our study revealed four key findings:

STRUCTURED COMPANY PROGRAMS CAN BE BENEFICIAL FOR FIRST GENERATION PROFESSIONALS

From work-study arrangements in college to professional development training and mentor-matching, structured programs were cited as important career stepping stones for many FGPs in our study.


TRAINING IN COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL SKILLS COULD HELP EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD

Skills such as networking, conflict management, and navigating office politics consistently emerged as ones that FGPs wish they had developed earlier in their career.

FIRST GENERATION PROFESSIONALS MAY FEEL LESS INCLUDED AT WORK

FGPs were more likely to report experiencing discrimination and unfair treatment at work than non-FGPs. They also reported feeling less valued, and were less likely to have social support in the workplace.


UPBRINGING MAY INFLUENCE WORK EXPERIENCE

When reflecting on what they learned during childhood, FGPs were more likely to have gained confidence and perseverance, but less likely to have had access to technical or job-related skills.

Curious to learn more?

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Get Involved

PARTICIPATE IN PHASE 2

We’ll be launching phase two of our study, which will focus on career development. We’re seeking individuals and organizations who would like to partner on this second phase. Will you join us?

Sign Up to Participate!