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8 Phrases Great Bosses Constantly Tell Their Employees

Posted By Julie McReynolds, 22 hours ago
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

 8 Phrases Great Bosses Constantly Tell Their Employees

By Leah Thomas

The characteristics that make a good boss differ greatly from those that make an average or subpar one. And communication can play a large role in determining your effectiveness and success as a leader.

How you communicate with your employees can either show them they are valued or make them feel disposable. Great bosses find themselves using the following positive reinforcements, questions, and statements of gratitude on a daily basis. 

1. "Good job."

Good bosses let employees know when they've succeeded at a task. Offering positive reinforcement encourages workers and assures them that their hard work is appreciated and noticed.

Giving an employee praise can be equally as effective as giving an employee constructive criticism. Both help a worker to continue to improve his/her professional performance.

2. "What's our goal?"

A great boss wants to keep his/her employees motivated. 

By creating a goal-oriented environment, a boss can encourage employees to focus on an end-point make decisions that will lead them to achieving their goals. And by saying "our," that employee knows the boss is working toward this goal with her.

3. "How are you?"

A boss that truly cares about the wellbeing of his/her employees is a great boss. "How are you?" is a question that could render responses involving personal life and/or work life. 

Employees fare better when they don't feel like just another number in a sea of employees, and good bosses make each worker feel crucial to the functionality of the company.

4. "That was my fault. I'm sorry."

Hearing a boss admit a mistake helps employees realize that every person is flawed. It also allows for that employee to be comfortable enough to own up to a mistake he/she may make in the future.

By saying "I'm sorry," a boss not only admits the mistake but shows respect for the employees that will be affected by his/her mistake.

5. "What do you think?"

Good bosses let their employees know their ideas will be heard and taken into consideration.

Seeking advice from employees shows that the boss values their opinions, regardless of their rank. Employees were hired for their potential, and giving them a chance to exhibit their skills lets them know their bosses believe in them.

6. "How can we improve?"

Inviting employees into the postmortem process shows them that they are a crucial part of the company and that their proposed solutions are valued.

Each error or mistake can be viewed as a learning experience. And good bosses let employees in on that process, in turn helping them grow professionally.

7. "Let me know if you have any questions."

A great boss is approachable and lets his/her employees know they can easily ask for help when needed.

Opening up employee/boss communication eases tension in the work environment and allows workers to feel as though they are part of a team.

8. "Thank you."

A simple "thank you" again shows employees that their boss truly appreciates the work they are putting in. A good boss thanks his workers as often as necessary, noting specific positive behaviors or assignments that were exceptional.

Great bosses want their employees to feel valued.


This content was originally published by our partners at and can be found by going here.

Tags:  management  WomeninBusiness  womenleaders 

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Career Spotlight: Management and Motivation with Nicole Straub

Posted By Nadia Alhashimi, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Career Spotlight: Management and Motivation with Nicole Straub

Nicole Straub, VP, Marketing and Product Management

Discover Student Loans


Can you tell me a little bit about your personal trajectory?  You have experienced significant upward mobility at Discover over the last 11 years.  What was your path to get to be VP, Marketing and Product Management for Discover Student Loans?

I came straight out of Mendoza College of Business and was selected to be part of the Strategic Leadership Program at Discover and have been here for 11 years.  The program is a rotational leadership program where we are given the opportunity to understand the company from different perspectives by filling roles in different functional areas of the company.  While in the program, I landed in strategy then into acquisition and eventually moved into marketing.


I see you have your MBA from Notre Dame, Mendoza, with a focus on strategy and finance.  What has getting your MBA done for your career?

I had a great career in accounting at a great firm and I went back to get my MBA.  The MBA broadened the set of opportunities that I had going forward and opened doors that have led me to where I am today in strategy, marketing, and product management.  Before my MBA, I could have had the ability to lead based on the numbers and the P&L.  After my MBA, I acquired a foundation that allowed me to lead in a broader sense via innovation, collaboration and large teams of people.  Your MBA will allow you to build a foundation that is much broader than just your own personal experience.  I came into Discover for a post MBA strategy leadership program that they had at that time.  I chose that program because of the flexibility it gave me to try roles in different functional areas and business units.  So, it’s ok if even at the end of your MBA you are still interested in building diverse professional experiences.  These can help build skill, expertise and serve as a springboard for career opportunities.


We’ve heard a lot about “glass ceilings."  Do you have any personal tips/lessons that you’ve learned in your career that would be helpful to other professional women as they are navigating their career growth and maximizing upward mobility?

Upward mobility is sometimes a function of an organization’s growth trajectory.  Be aware of the organization that you choose to work in and the opportunities that it can provide for advancement.  I have been able to build my career with Discover because they are a growing organization that is invested in meeting their customers’ changing needs.  The year that I started with them is the year that they became a standalone public company and they have been growing ever since.  It’s important to initially make that foundational choice to find an organization that matches your goals.


Moving beyond that, growth for me is determined by a few specific traits:

1.  Maintain humility.  When you come out of business school and are doing a job for the first time it is almost certain that you are not going to be an expert.  It is important to recognize that your ability to succeed be a function of your resourcefulness, comfort with ambiguity and ability to learn quickly. 

2.  Figure out how to add value.  People who advance are people who add value to an organization.  Figure out how you add incremental value to the equation.  Have you nailed what you are responsible for?  It’s basic, but first things first – do a great job!  That often means long hours, but people will notice when you really nail your responsibilities.  

3.  Build a network, organizational support and mentors within your company.  Even if you’re doing an outstanding job, you need to be mindful that someone does see you and that your work is recognized.  When you do good work, you want to have enough of a network so that people think of you when opportunities arise.  Look for mentors among leadership who can help guide your career path within your company.


What are the key traits that get your attention among young professionals? 

I like to see employees digging in and understanding the work that they’re responsible for in detail.  Don’t forget to do the core responsibilities of your job really well.  Don’t sacrifice excellence in those core responsibilities.  During your first couple of months, you’ll have to work extra hard in adding value in the next step forward.  Secondly, nothing can replace someone who has committed to developing effective communication skills and an executive presence.  As an employer, you’re always looking for the person who gives you that sense.  

You’re on the steep side of the learning curve early on in your career and are learning a lot in a short period of time, your ability to handle ambiguity will be critically important in many of the career opportunities ahead.


What are the pitfalls that you often see among employees?

A major pitfall is stakeholder management.  Always ask what the cultural expectations of managing your stakeholders are.  What does your boss want to know and when?  I tend to coach my team about how to give people and their colleagues enough space so that failure is possible.  Failure is a really powerful teacher, and in my experience, I’ve learned a lot from when things haven’t gone quite right.  Things that you learn from, or things not going as expected, has great power.  As a manager, it’s important to note someone who responds to that moment well by learning from it.  That possibility of failure is also what makes success possible.  As managers, we don’t have to have a monopoly on thought leadership.  When you create space for failure, it also creates the possibility for truly outstanding work.


Discover has been awarded “top 25 companies for culture and values,” and “Best Training and Development Award."  I’m sure that benefits specifically geared towards women such as a mother’s room, adoption assistance and even pet insurance contribute to the great work environment that Discover has created.  Can you speak personally to why Discover has been a great career choice and workplace for you?  What has made them stand out from their competitors as an ideal workplace?

Going back to what we discussed before, Discover has been a great place for me because it’s a company that fits me.  I’m a challenge-seeker and Discover looks for engaged challenge-seekers.  That’s what gets me excited to come to work every day and has been extremely rewarding and developmental in my own growth.  During my 11 years here, I have had three children.  Discover has been a place that made it possible for me to do that and continue to do work that is challenging and pushes me to grow.  I have taken three maternity leaves and have been able to return (to meaningful work where I felt I was valued and contributing) and be successful.  That has been made possible through the amazing formal benefits that Discover has committed to in order to deliver their employees' fulfilling professional and personal lives.  The other aspect that is important is that the people that I work with are equally committed and ambitious as I am.  Working on teams and having mentors who I enjoy has given me incredible joy and satisfaction.  There is incredible value in seeking and working with people who inspire you.  

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What You Can Do in One Minute To Empower Women in the Workplace

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, May 31, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


What You Can Do in One Minute To Empower Women in the Workplace

By Fairygodboss

Anytime you change jobs, there’s a lot at stake. Beyond considering whether the role will be a good fit, there are (way too many) important questions to consider: what’s the culture like? Will you be judged for leaving at 6 p.m.? Can you occasionally work from home? And will you make as much money as men at the company?

We’ve all played the guessing game before, and felt extremely lucky — or terribly unlucky — a few months into a new role. But your job satisfaction shouldn’t hinge on luck, and fortunately, it no longer has to. Fairygodboss, the leading career community for women, by women, takes the guesswork out of the job search equation.

The site, founded in 2015 by former Dow Jones execs Georgene Huang and Romy Newman, provides women with a space to anonymously review their work experiences — specifically detailing their company’s culture, whether they believe their CEO supports gender diversity, what kind of parental leave benefits they have, how much they get paid, and whether their company is an overall supportive place for women to work.

By crowdsourcing information about how companies treat women, Fairygodboss equips female job seekers with the intel they need to make informed career decisions.

The best part? Whether or not you’re currently job searching, you can empower women in just one minute. Here’s how: visit Fairygodboss and leave a free, anonymous review about your job — or places you’ve worked in the past. By sharing your experience, you’ll help women everywhere.

Women who work at ADP, for instance, have written on Fairygodboss:

"I have been able to make more money, have more flexibility, and grow more as a person at ADP than I have at any other employer."

"I've been promoted three times in six years - there is definitely opportunity here! My work is challenging, rewarding, and fun. And, I feel that ADP has valued my contributions since day one. 5 stars!"

Join the movement, and be a Fairygodboss! Review your work experience — and get the inside scoop on how women feel about their jobs and companies — today!

This content was originally published by our partners at and can be found by going here.

Tags:  Business  Career  job  Jobs  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenSupportingWomen 

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The Real Reason Women Save Less For Retirement Than Men Is Too Typical

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The Real Reason Women Save Less For Retirement Than Men Is Too Typical

By Annamarie Houlis

Some women save less than men on retirement, but a new study has looked at why that it is. The researchers explored the attitudes of women and men toward saving for retirement and found that more men identify saving for retirement a top priority, but it's not necessarily because women don't think it's important.

"Varying financial needs make it difficult for many men and women to build a retirement nest egg," Shane Bartling, senior consultant for Willis Towers Watson said in a prepared statement. "While our survey finds that women place a lower priority on saving for retirement than men do, we believe it’s a question of, 'Am I able to save for retirement?' rather than, 'Is it important to save for retirement?'"

The researchers surveyed 4,983 U.S. workers in July and August of 2017, and the results, compiled in the Willis Towers Watson 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, show that 60 percent of the men involved ranked saving for retirement as their top financial priority. In contrast, only 44 percent of the women surveyed said the same — that's because they had more pressing concerns, such as daily living costs (64 percent) and paying off debt (57 percent), even if they wanted to save for retirement first.

Daily living costs are perhaps more of a burden for more women than men, as women who work full time in the United States are still typically paid just 80 percent of what men are paid — that's a pay gap of 20 percent. And paying off debt is also a major concern for a lot of women, typically more so than for men, as student loan debt, for example, carries gendered implications. The gender pay gap, coupled with the fact that families save and spend more on sons’ educations than daughters’ educations, means that women with student loans tend to pay back their debts slower than their male counterparts.

Add to all that the fact that women have longer life expectancies than men, and that means that women usually have to save more than men, too.

One of the only commonalities that women and men share with regards to feelings on retirement is that they all have declining confidence in their retirement prospects. Fifty-seven percent still feel good about having enough financial resources to live comfortably for 15 years in retirement, but that number is down from 69 percent in 2015. Still just 39 percent of women are confident they’ll have enough resources to last 25 years into retirement, compared to 54 percent of men.

Interventions to ensure that women can make saving for retirement more of a priority might include further budgeting and debt management tools, and encouraging women toward higher default rates in their retirement plans, the researchers suggest.

But perhaps the issue is that we're always placing the burden on women to fix the burden they've already got on their shoulders. Might I add paying women fairly so they don't have to budget better or manage debt more than men, with which they're already tasked? 


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at by night.

This content was originally published by our partners at and can be found by going here.

Tags:  Finance  money  women 

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This Is What the Gender Pay Gap Looks Like Around the World

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, May 17, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

 This Is What the Gender Pay Gap Looks Like Around the World

By AnnaMarie Houlis

April 10 marked Equal Pay Day 2018, and women are still fighting the same battle they've been fighting for years.

In 2016, women who worked full time in the United States were typically paid just 80 percent of what men were paid — that's a pay gap of 20 percent. While the gap has gotten smaller since the 1970s as more women seek higher education and enter the workforce, the rate of change between 1960 and 2016 means that American women are still not expected to reach pay equity with men until 2059. In fact, the progress started slowing down in 2001 and has even somewhat stalled over the years — if it continues to lose momentum, women might not actually reach pay equity until 2119.

In 2017, the United States moved down four spots to no. 49 in its World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking compared to 2016. It recorded some improvement on the Economic Opportunity and Participation subindex—in particular due to a smaller gender gap on the wage equality for similar work indicator—but experienced a decline overall and has only closed nearly 72 percent of its total gender gap, a decrease of just two percent since 2015.

And it's not only women in the United States who aren't afforded the same salaries as their male counterparts. A 2017 report from the United Nations Population Fund, called The State of World Population 2017, found that no country was left untouched by sexism and discrimination when it came to women in the workplace. Women earn 23 percent less than men around the world, the study found. In fact, the average pay for women globally is $12,000, compared with $21,000 for men, which means that women around the world will not earn as much as men for 217 years, according to the WEF).

Gender equality is the fifth out of 17 sustainable development goals agreed upon by 193 countries under the 1994 Programme of Action, with the deadline of 2030. Closing the pay gap could add an extra $1,750 billion to the GDP of the United States, $250 billion to the GDP of Britain and $2.5 trillion to China's GDP. But there's a lot of work to be done.

Here's what the gender gap looks like around the world today in the top 10 countries thus far, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report. Because even they have room for significant improvement.

1. Iceland

Countries should really be looking to Iceland, which has recently become the first country to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Iceland introduced the legislation on Jan. 1, which imposes fines on any company or government agency with over 25 staff members without a government certificate demonstrating pay inequality. The legislation didn't come as too much of a surprise: Iceland is the world's most gender-equal country, according to the WEF. It takes the top spot in the WEF report for the ninth year in a row, closing more than 87 percent of its overall gender gap. But, that said, Iceland dropped out of the global top 10 on Economic Participation and Opportunity due to a small increase of its gender gap in the number of women among legislators, senior officials and managers.

2. Norway

Norway took second place in 2017, closing more than 83 percent of its overall gender gap. It continues a multi-year steady improvement on its gender gap in the number of women among legislators, senior officials and managers, but 2017 saw slowing progress on its previous improvements in wage equality for similar work. It also recorded a slight decrease in the share of women in ministerial positions, moving down one spot on the Political Empowerment subindex to fourth, globally.

3. Finland

Finland took third place in 2017, closing more than 82 percent of its overall gender gap. But it dropped three spots on Political Empowerment, re-opening its previously fully-closed gender gap in the number of women in ministerial positions while narrowing its gender gap in the number of women in parliament. It has, however, fully closed its gender gap on Educational Attainment.

4. Rwanda

Rwanda has steadily closed 82 percent of its overall gender gap, mostly due to continued progress on its Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex score, on the back of improved parity in estimated earned income and, particularly, a significant narrowing of its gender gap in the number of women in ministerial positions. It's also the country with the highest share of female parliamentarians in the world (61 percent), so it advanced five spots on the Political Empowerment subindex, where it now ranks third globally.

5. Sweden

After continuously maintaining its overall Index ranking for eight years in a row, Sweden moved from fourth to fifth place in 2017. But the country has closed more than 81 percent of its overall gender gap, and it maintains a strong position on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex (thanks to progress on the wage equality for similar work indicator).

6. Nicaragua

Nicaragua saw a big increase in its overall Index score and rose four places, to sixth place in 2017. It's closed more than 81 percent of its overall gender gap and remains the best performer in the Latin America and the Caribbean region for the sixth year running. The latest rise is primarily because of its significant improvement in gender parity on the estimated earned income indicator, for which the country entered the top 10 for the first time.

7. Slovenia 

Slovenia moveed up a spot due to improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex and increased parity in the number of legislators, senior officials and managers. And, with 80 percent of its overall gender gap closed, it remains the strongest performing country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It is also one of the fastest-improving countries in the world thus far.

8. Ireland

Ireland has closed 79 percent of its overall gender gap, it fully closed gender gap on Educational Attainment from last year, and it also sees an increase in gender parity in the number of legislators, senior officials and managers. But it has seen a decrease in gender parity in the number of women in ministerial positions.

9. New Zealand

New Zealand has maintained its position from 2016, and has closed 79 percent of its overall gender gap. The country rose four spots on the Political Empowerment subindex, with increased gender parity in ministerial positions and parliamentarians. But, that said, it is yet to fully re-close its Educational Attainment gender gap, which was re-opened last year for the first time since 2008.

10. The Philippines 

The Philippines has closed 79 pecent of its overall gender gap, but moved from the highest performer in the East Asia and the Pacific region to second place after New Zealand. That's largely because of its worsening performance on the wage equality for similar work indicator, dropping from seventh to 21st place.


This content was originally posted by our partners at and can be found by going here.

Tags:  Career  women  WomeninBusiness 

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