Those aged between 18 and 25 have questioned the motives of the business world, with fewer than four in 10 believing business leaders have integrity and do what they say.
Similarly, Gen Z was sceptical about businesses’ contribution to net zero, with just a quarter (26%) believing companies are contributing towards the fight against climate change, according to new research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
The bodies quizzed 310 individuals studying finance or accountancy in the UK, and found six in 10 (60%) 18 to 25-year-olds thought business had a positive impact on the wider society, despite their scepticism of honesty in the top ranks.
The Gen Z respondents also reported being concerned about their future, with more than half (56%) worried about a lack of job opportunities and nearly half (48%) anxious about their own wellbeing and mental health.
Just over two in five (42%) said they were concerned about the global economy and recessions.
The majority (87%) of the younger generation described themselves as ‘ambitious’, with 85 per cent saying they valued flexibility and a work-life balance, and a similar number valuing purpose and meaning in a job.
Jamie Lyon, head of business management at ACCA’s Professional Insights team said: ‘There’s advice in our report for all business sectors – not just accountancy – about how to harness the potential of Gen Zs in the workplace, and also about how to gain trust.
“Business integrity matters to Gen Z, suggesting that in the minds of younger people that the image of businesses – in some aspects – remains to be improved.”