McCann Worldgroup Canada study finds 63% of millennial parents are raising Generation Alpha, gender neutral

McCann Worldgroup Canada study finds 63% of millennial parents are raising Generation Alpha, gender neutral

The newest ‘Truth About Canadian Women’ report finds new values shaping child-rearing and Canada’s next generation of adults

We once raised girls and boys on a foundation of gender stereotypes and a belief that biology dictates character and ability. For the newest generation of millennial parents, the values they are bringing to family life and child-rearing point to different ideas about the role of gender identity than in the past, according to the latest report issued by McCann Worldgroup Canada in its Truth About Canadian Women series of national research reports.

“How we raise the next generation of Canadians is an indicator of what we value as a society, and where we channel our hopes for the change we want to see in the world, “said Mary Chambers, Chief Strategy Officer of McCann Worldgroup Canada. “One of the changes Canadian women would like to see – for themselves and for their children – is that they no longer be placed in a box, limited by gender stereotypes.”

According to a McCann Worldgroup Canada national report, 63 per cent of Millennial parents are raising Generation Alpha, gender neutral. This means they are exposing their children to a world of choice, versus one with limited options. This creates new opportunities for brands. There is still plenty of room for dolls and trucks, but the audience for each just got a lot bigger with a whole spectrum of alternative toys and colours added to the proverbial toybox.

Called the Truth About Canadian Women, the overall study explores the changing conversation around women in Canada today – how they are shaping change and how this change is shaping everything around them. The ‘Raising Girls and Boys’ report that was released today is the final of five in a series that were issued this year on the changing roles of women in Canadian society, including in-depth explorations of how women feel about their work, household roles, aging and media representations. View the full report here.

The research also identified the values and beliefs of Millennial parents that are guiding them in how they raise their children:

  1. Women and men are in it together – this is no longer a battle of the sexes.
  2. Gender stereotypes are limiting for both girls and boys.
  3. The guiding values of the future are those of individuality and inclusion.

In 2016, McCann Worldgroup Canada developed The Truth About Canadians – a landmark consumer research study in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs. This year, once again, they partnered with Ipsos to launch the follow-up to that work – The Truth About Canadian Women. In addition to the study results themselves, the research has gone even deeper by enabling conversations and debates with a wide range of influential women through an exclusive ‘Game Changer’ dinner series. These events bring together some of Canada’s most influential and inspirational women from across the country to discuss key topics and their implications for marketers.

Starting with a nationwide quantitative survey, the Truth About Canadian Women study was designed to explore the changing lives, roles and expectations of women and their effect on the new norms in Canada. Coupled with qualitative research and interviews with key marketing industry leaders, the study provides an in-depth look at Canadian women, while taking the pulse of Canadians with respect to their opinions, values and expectations of modern brands.

McCann Worldgroup Canada plans to use the study over the coming months to provide customized marketing workshops and business applications for select clients and interested marketers in Canada.

Conducted by McCann Worldgroup Canada and Ipsos Public Affairs, McCann Worldgroup Canada’s Truth About Canadian Women study has uncovered some surprising facts about Canadian Women beginning with the release of the first of the reports earlier this spring.

Gender equality at work? Women aren’t feeling it.

76% of women believe we don’t have gender equality in the workplace.

One home, two realities.

73% of men believe household chores are shared, while 40% of women believe they do all the work alone.

Best Intentions aren’t enough.

67% of millennial women believe there are too many gender stereotypes in advertising.

Past 50: The best is yet to come.

58% of women feel their lives are fuller after 50.

The promise of real change.

63% of millennial parents are raising Gen Alpha, gender neutral



  • Quantitative Survey: Collected online among a representative sample of n=2,700 adult Canadians, 18 years of age and older, 60/40 M/F split.
  • Nationwide Qualitative Bulletin Boards & Workshops: with Canadian women who are leaders in their own communities.
  • 30+ Expert Interviews: with leading Canadian marketers and women shaping change in Canada today.
  • Game Changer Dinner Series: with women of influence across Canada’s key cities, tackling one topic at a time.