New Study: Globally, Gen Z Girls Driven by Social Activism, Seek Companies Willing to Take a Stand

New Research from Girl Up Finds Gen Z Girls from Around the World Ready to Put Their Purchasing Power Behind Brands that Take a Stand

Washington, D.C., (June 7, 2018) – Research released today finds that Gen Z girls are committed to standing up for what they believe in and are willing to use their buying power for activism. Girl Up has released a new global study, “Her Gen Z World,” which takes a deeper dive into the mind of Gen Z girls ages 14-19 from the U.S., U.K., Colombia, Mexico, Spain, India, and China.

The survey shows that the Gen Z girl generation is living the difference they want to see. Key findings include:

  • 70 percent of survey respondents believe their lives need to make a difference in the world.
  • 65 percent of Gen Z girls feel it is important for companies to take a stand on social issues.
  • In addition, 65 percent say buying from brands that give back to their community is important, while 72 percent agree it’s important to buy products or services from brands that are environmentally friendly.
  • While Gen Z girls around the world see social media as a platform for social good, 49 percent of respondents do not see social media celebrities as a trusted source of information.
  • Gen Z girls hold strong values but are open to new ideas and are actively building political bridges with 67 percent of girls responding that they would be friends with someone with opposing political views.

Amid the current surge of girl power and activism, Girl Up is uniquely positioned to navigate the intersectional identities of this dynamic generation. Girl Up works with girl leaders and changemakers through its more than 2,000 Clubs in 100 countries. As a girl-led organization, Girl Up designed the research in partnership with its Teen Advisors, and as a result the findings include Gen Z girls’ opinions on global citizenship, gender equality, gender and identity, media, mental health, STEM and education, and more.

“Youth activism may be new buzz words, but it’s not a new phenomenon. As the Gen Z girls we work with have made clear, this generation of girls isn’t waiting for the future to the lead; they’re leading today,” said Melissa Kilby, Girl Up Co-Executive Director. “Gen Z girls care about gender equality, the environment, and mental health, and through our leadership programs, girls are leading their communities to take action on social issues globally. It’s up to brands to meet them where they are,” said Anna Blue, Girl Up Co-Executive Director.

The research also finds that gender equality is a major concern for girls, and 69 percent believe that men and boys need to play a bigger role in the gender equality movement. Additionally, Gen Z girls around the world experience high stress and anxiety, and 75 percent of respondents said there needs to be more open dialogue about mental health.

The “Her Gen Z World” report, created in partnership with Y&R’s BAVGroup and Berlin Cameron, illustrates high level “contradictions” in each key topic area in further detail. The report contains additional findings and supporting data segmented by country (age, religion, rural/suburban/urban segmentations are available upon request).

Beyond a detailed look at the Gen Z girl, the report leverages the BAV® approach to brands to identify opportunities and inform strategic solutions for brands looking to engage with Gen Z girls.




Beth Nervig

Communications and Digital Media Manager, Girl Up



About Girl Up

Girl Up is a global leadership development initiative, positioning girls to be leaders in the movement for gender equality. With resources in five languages and more than 2,200 Girl Up Clubs in over 100 countries, we’ve trained 40,000 girls of all backgrounds to create tangible change for girls everywhere. Girl Up provides leadership training and gives girls tools to become gender equality advocates and activists. Through our programs in STEM and storytelling, girls broaden their social impact skill set to better prepare them for success in whatever their futures hold. Our girl leaders create real policy change at local and national levels, raise millions of dollars to support programs for girls around the world through our United Nations partners, and build community-based movements for social change. Girl Up is hosted at the United Nations Foundation, working within a larger community that supports our efforts for gender equality worldwide.Learn more at

About BAV®

Y&R’s BAV Group is a global consultancy with expertise in consumer insights and brand marketing strategy. Using BrandAsset® Valuator, a proprietary brand management tool and global database of consumer perceptions of brands, BAV informs strategic and creative solutions that drive business results. BAV uniquely captures the key dimensions that drive brand momentum, advocacy, and financial success in the marketplace. Over 24 years, BAV has captured data and insights from more than 1.5 million consumers across 56,000 brands in 52 countries around the world, evaluating 72 brand image and equity dimensions that matter. Visit to learn more.

About Berlin Cameron
New York-based Berlin Cameron is a strategic and creative lead agency that is well known for accelerating the growth of iconic and challenger brands by building their cultural relevance. Owned by WPP, Berlin Cameron has the agility of a small boutique agency with access to the global scale of the much larger WPP. For more, visit berlincameron.comand TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.


In 2017, BAV® in partnership with Girl Up surveyed 3,500 girls aged 14 to 19 from the US, UK, China, India, Spain, Mexico, and Colombia on 8 key topic areas. In addition, we surveyed a sample of Girl Up girls to gain the perspectives of the most socially and politically conscious girls of the generation.