JUST ANNOUNCED: The New Era of Leadership 2024 Award Winners


Ilene Eskenazi

Chief Human Resources Officer, Chipotle


Why Giving Gen Z a Helping Hand is the Secret to Success for This Savvy CHRO

It’s no secret that Gen Z will have a major impact on the workplace, with studies projecting they will surpass Boomers in the labor force this year. At Chipotle, this generation makes up nearly three quarters of the food chain’s workforce, which is why when Ilene Eskenazi took over as Chief Human Resources Officer last year, she quickly rolled out financial wellness and mental wellbeing benefits to attract and support the crucial cohort (and all employees). That includes a Student Loan Retirement Match program, with the restaurant giant offering to match up to 4% of an employee’s salary through contributions to their 401(k), if they make their student loan payments — so that young employees no longer have to choose between paying off student debt or saving for retirement. Chipotle is also offering access to a high-tech Visa card that can help employees build credit and avoid debt, since it’s specifically designed to limit spending. Additionally, employees who are struggling with their mental health or challenges at home can receive six free sessions with a licensed counselor, as well as access to tools, resources, and community support for legal, financial, and family matters.

By: Audrey Goodson Kingo