Author: Bonnie Low-Kramen

A Must-Read! 2017 Worldwide Workplace Bullying Survey Results

This 2017 Worldwide Workplace Bullying Survey is sponsored by
Executive Secretary Magazine, Bonnie Low-Kramen and Carole Spiers.

This could be one of the most important and truthful pieces of workplace research of the decade. Please READ AND SHARE this document.

Warning: These Workplace Bullying Survey results are not easy reading. Clearly, we must work to find ways to stop this global epidemic.

Bonnie Low-Kramen VerticalIntro by BONNIE LOW-KRAMEN

When you know better, do better.” This quote by Maya Angelou is the reason why I co-sponsored this first-ever international workplace bullying survey.

From my work training assistants all over the world and from hearing hundreds of stories, I know
that we have a global epidemic. The survey results prove it. 69% of the respondents have personally experienced workplace bullying in their careers and 67% have had it occur on more than 3 occasions.

World, we have a problem.

There are numerous issues that this data raises but to me, the top 3 are:

1. The trauma of bullying does not only last for the day it happens. It lasts for weeks, months, and
sometimes years. Assistants can instantly recall the exact words that were said to them, the time
of day, and what they were wearing. The human price we are paying is far too high.
2. The trauma of bullying eats away at people’s morale, productivity, and ability to work at optimum
effectiveness. Leaders need to be aware that to permit these behaviors to persist means profits
decrease due to absenteeism, presenteeism, and low motivation. Can anyone produce great work
while feeling humiliated?
3. The data shows that we need a fresh look at the problem by our leaders and human resources
professionals in collaboration with the staff and recruiters in order to come up with a realistic
plan, which begins with setting clear expectations at the start.

The future of our global workplace is at stake. This is not hyperbole. Awareness is the first step which
was the goal of the survey. Training and education is the second. New and effective policies that are
actually enforced and based on accountability and consequences is the third.

When we break the silence and the destructive cycle of bullying, the workplace will transform not
only for ourselves but for our daughters and sons. As leadership expert Simon Sinek says, “Imagine a
world where people feel safe at work.” I can imagine it. Can you?

Let us shine a bright light on the workplace issues that face us. Only then will we have a chance to solve them. Your comments are welcome. Thank you.

Link to the complete survey:

Businesses are affected by crises and disasters all the time. Are you ready?

By Bonnie Low-Kramen for Smart CEO Magazine | April 2017

March 22, 2017: A car and knife attack takes place near the Houses of Parliament in London. April 2, 2017: A water avalanche in Colombia kills 254. April 3, 2017: A train explosion in Moscow kills 14.

These are just three of the most recent examples of crises or disasters that struck suddenly and had an impact on a great number of people. Does it not seem as if these events are happening more and more frequently? That’s because they are.

In addition to man-made crises such as the terror attacks in Paris, Brussels or at an Orlando nightclub, there is the ever-growing threat of natural disasters such as blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Read more

Closing the Gender Wage Gap: How to Earn What You Deserve | Ep. 23



Recorded in front of a live audience in London at the Executive Secretary LIVE conference, April 1, 2017.
Too many women around the world are seriously underpaid. One reason is that they have no idea what their jobs are worth. Another reason is that they are afraid to ask. Still another reason is that the subject of money has been forbidden and taboo for too long. But how to do that and then to make the case for more money? This is an issue that affects assistants in a very big way since 95-98% are women. Bonnie and Vickie break the silence and discuss real-life step-by-step strategies that have led to increases of thousands of dollars by assistants all over the world. You will learn how to negotiate your skill set, experience, and relationships into the compensation package that you deserve now and for the future and that will impact your daughters and granddaughters, sons and grandsons.


Bonnie & Vickie recording the podcast at ExecSecLIVE London
Vickie Sokol Evans & Bonnie Low-Kramen at ExecSecLIVE in London recording this podcast.

Related Links:

Book: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Video: Amy Cuddy on Body Language

Book: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay

Book: Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski

Book: Presence by Amy Cuddy

Article about teenagers fired for demanding equal pay


Personal assistants: A busy executive’s most powerful secret weapon

It’s about freedom.

In my work as the personal assistant to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis (“Moonstruck”), my goal every day was to free Olympia to do the things that only she could do. These included memorizing her lines, going for a costume fitting and working out with her yoga instructor. I did everything else and I did it for 25 years.

My job was about maximizing our 24 hours each day. This is what an assistant can do. In 2017, assistants aren’t only for celebrities. It is a relationship that can impact your life in profound ways. Your assistant can be your right arm, trusted ally and even a surrogate at meetings. When utilized properly and fully, she can enhance your business by acting as a strategic partner and freeing you up to make even more profits. S/he can also enable you to have more free time to enjoy those things that feed your soul.

Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan | Ep.22

Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan

Melba Duncan of The Duncan Group Recorded live in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Executive Secretary LIVE Conference on February 18, 2017. As a prominent and respected workplace expert and NYC-based recruiter for 30+ years, perhaps no one has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in our workplace better than Melba J Duncan, Founder and President of The Duncan Group. What is Workplace 2.0? Hear up to the minute information about what working as a “strategic business partner” really means and if you want to be one, what do you need to do to get there? According to Melba Duncan, the role of Executive Assistant is misunderstood and undervalued, and it is time to change this perception. Bonnie. Vickie, and Melba talk technology, salaries, skills, and much more. Listen in to hear Melba’s sage advice for EAs and the CEOs they support. To see the video on YouTube click here.

Related links:

Melba J. Duncan

Book: The New Executive Assistant


Subscribe to » BTUA Podcast with Bonnie & Vickie

The Training Executives Really Need to Succeed

Bonnie Low-Kramen Office Life Support

By Bonnie Low-Kramen | SmartCEO Magazine | January 2017

This column gives me the golden opportunity to share burning workplace issues with CEOs and leaders. I get to pull the curtain back on what your support staff is thinking and needing. This piece is about the need to train new managers on how to utilize an Executive Assistant. Why? Because most don’t know. This is important information that is not taught in business school or anywhere.

Imagine this. You are a new driver and one day you go outside to find a brand new car with the keys hanging on the window with a note that reads “Good luck!” The car is filled with gadgets and shiny buttons but there is no physical manual and no one to tell you what to do.

Here’s the problem. You want to drive the car NOW. So you struggle to understand how to unlock the driver’s door and finally figure out to turn the car on. You find the online manual but you keep bumping into buttons and symbols that you don’t understand which ends up being frustrating almost on a daily basis. The annoying and energy-consuming learning curve continues for several weeks and months. Read more

Connecting the Dots: A Key Attribute of the World’s Top EAs with Guest: Debbie Gross, CEA at Cisco | Ep. 21


Bonnie, Debbie, & Vickie
From left: Bonnie, Debbie Gross, & Vickie at Executive Secretary LIVE Dubai, Nov 2016
John Chambers & Debbie Gross
Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers presenting Debbie with the Colleen Barrett Award in 2015.

Debbie Gross is respected as one of the top assistants in America. She has been working as an administrative professional for 40 years and for the past 25 years, as the Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers, former CEO, now Executive Chairman of Cisco in California. Read more

Listen Up! Bonnie interviews Lucy Brazier at Exec Sec LIVE Dubai (21 min)



Do you want to know more about Lucy Brazier, the visionary leader behind the Executive Secretary LIVE conferences and Executive Secretary Magazine? We did! Bonnie Low-Kramen interviewed Lucy from the stage at Exec Sec LIVE in Dubai on Nov 17th. Introduced by Vickie Sokol Evans, listen for 21 minutes and get to know Lucy’s big plans for assistants all over the world.

The “R” Word

respectBy Bonnie Low-Kramen for Executive Secretary Magazine | July, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T- Find out what it means to me…” Aretha Franklin’s 1967 smash hit anthem is considered to be one of the best songs of all time. Why? The word hits a nerve.

Note: Since 95% of all admins are women, the pronoun “she” will be used in this piece. To all the male admins, I sincerely hope that this article resonates with you as well.

Definition of Respect – Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability.

Definition of Appreciation – The act of estimating the qualities of people and giving them their proper value, clear perception or recognition.

Read more

6 Ways to Build a Culture That Doesn’t Chase Good People Away

Bonnie Low-Kramen Office Life SupportBy Bonnie Low-Kramen for SmartCEO Magazine | October 24, 2016

You’ve probably read some of the many articles written about the perks that help retain good employees — free lunches, on-site gyms, deskside massage therapy and concierge services, to name just a few. But is that really what your employees want the most?

I train and speak with administrative professionals and managers all over the world and no matter what state or country they are in, the feedback is consistent. Staffers are craving and starved for cultures of respect. These are strong words, but intentionally used and very true.

Job seekers may be tempted by a free lunch perk, but leaders need to know that these sophisticated candidates are taking a closer look. They want to make sure that your company has a culture where they can thrive for the long term. Read more

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