Kazakh entrepreneur Zaure Rozmat still remembers the first time she hired a baby boomer. It was also her last. “In her eyes, everyone [in our office] was basically still kids,” Rozmat says. “When you hire an older person, they treat you as a young person: like you don’t know anything.”
Rozmat, 28, is hardly the only person to feel discounted in Kazakhstan due to her age – it’s a common feeling among Kazakh youth. Despite owning a successful media company in Almaty, Rozmat often feels that some people – whether employees, clients or potential investors – refuse to take her seriously because she is a millennial.
This adversity is one of the reasons why she launched her business in 2016. The Steppe is a magazine about – and run by – Kazakhstan’s young, creative class: educated urbanites rebuilding a country no longer forced to fit into its old post-Soviet mould. In a media landscape dominated almost entirely by traditional broadsheets and sensationalist tabloids, The Steppe was the first mainstream outlet to provide a place for Kazakhstan’s youth to make their voices heard.