Leaders cannot take their assistants for granted.
Bonnie Low-Kramen worked in show business for 25 years as the personal assistant to Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich. It is amazing how much power an assistant holds; yet they’re often underpaid and are barely making ends meet, even when working for senior executives and CEOs. Through her experience, Bonnie was inspired to create the Speak Up! Pledge to help women in all types of work roles stand up, be confident, and be compensated fairly for what they’re worth.
Key Takeaways:[2:15] What was it like working with the actress Olympia Dukakis? [6:25] We only have 24-hours in a day. So it all boils down to, how are we effectively using those hours? [7:05] In the United States, there are 4 million assistants and 95-98% of them are female. [9:35] Where are the leaders learning how to manage human beings? [11:45] There are four main things that staff want: respect, appreciation, fair compensation, and sense of value in the company. [12:35] Staff in any given company protect the CEO from negativity. In turn, these leaders have no idea what’s really going on. [14:10] People tend to confide in the assistant more than they do in the leader with negativity or secrets of what’s going on in the company. This makes assistants highly valuable. [17:20] What people really want is a company culture that’s respectful. What are some of the ways you can show respect to your team? [20:30] Women are really good leaders. However, what’s required from them to realize this about themselves is encouragement and training. [21:10] Young girls have historically grown up and have been socialized into thinking that they wouldn’t make for good leaders. [25:10] Bill Gates’s assistant came to one of Bonnie’s workshop classes. Assistants functioning at very high levels are well-aware they need ongoing training. [27:50] Bonnie firmly believes companies will go out of business the moment they stop taking their team’s personal development seriously. [29:45] The number one problem in our workplace is the issue of speaking up. [34:25] Women are not asking for higher and better compensation. There is a shame around asking for money. [43:55] Bonnie is offering scholarships to women who need training on how to effectively speak up. [44:20] What kind of impact have the women experienced after joining the Speak Up! Pledge? [53:05] Remember, only 7% of women ask for better or higher compensation.
Mentioned in This Episode: