Author Archives: bizcombuzz

To Hug or Not to Hug?… Millennials Take a Gloomy View of Business… Promotions Are a Gender Thing…

To Hug or Not to Hug?

With #MeToo accusations popping up regularly, the etiquette around hugging at work is unclear. To one, a congratulatory hug may be a sign of warmth; to another, it may signify a power play. What to do?

In many industries, hugging between clients or colleagues is fairly common. In fact, in long-term relationships between, say, a sales rep and a client, a handshake instead of a hug could be interpreted as coldness.

Still, some organizations steer clear of the workplace hug, especially since a federal court ruled that hugging might constitute creating a hostile work environment. Women in particular may wish to stay away from hugging in the workplace to appear more professional. Another reason to avoid friendly embrace: Research shows that not everyone wants or needs to feel affection at work.

A few pointers from experts:

  • Supervisors should never hug anyone they manage.
  • Everyone should avoid giving a hug if unsure how the other individual would react.
  • Hugs should always be brief.
  • Non-huggers should feel free to set boundaries with their more affectionate counterparts.

The good news is that a firm handshake can be effective at creating a bond between people.

From The Wall Street Journal

Millennials Take a Gloomy View of Business

In its seventh annual survey of millennials, Deloitte’s research unearthed the generation’s dimming view about the nature of work, politics, and the future of industry. Specifically, the survey found that millennials

  • think business ethics are declining as a result of the disconnect between what millennials believe responsible businesses should do and what businesses think they should do
  • feel unprepared for the advent of the evolving workplace and consequently appreciate and prefer organizations that train and support employees in anticipation of these changes
  • view the gig economy as a good way to supplement or replace traditional jobs
  • value good pay, positive workplace cultures, diversity, and flexibility on the job
  • consider positive workplace factors key to their loyalty.

The report states: “The message is clear. Young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society—and to be responsive to employees’ needs.”

From Deloitte

Promotions Are a Gender Thing 

Research has now confirmed that when promotions are given out, the sexes stick together: men promote men, and women promote women.

The survey, conducted by Fairygodboss, Female Quotient, and Progyny, found that managers tend to promote workers who are “similar” to themselves. The researchers noted that this propensity may be one of the causes for the gender pay gap, since the majority of managers are still male.

The survey also found that women were less likely to have asked for a raise than their male counterparts, and that more men claim their careers take precedence over women’s because they are their families’ primary breadwinner.



Avoiding Misuse of You

When you write, reserve you for direct address. That is, use you only when you are addressing the reader of your message, for instance, in an e-mail to a specific recipient or when writing instructions for an assumed audience:  You will find references at the end of the book. Avoid the impersonal you in situations that require specific words identifying people, situations, or occurrences.

Poor:           You must pass several exams before being allowed to practice accounting.
[Here you is impersonal: The reader is not necessarily a future accountant.]

: Future CPAS must pass several exams before being allowed to practice.

Rephrase the sentences below to avoid the impersonal you.

  1. If you are a healthcare employer, you should consult OSHA publications to learn about workplace safety to help avoid common accidents.
  2. You can add veterinary coverage for employees’ pets to infuse more compassion into your benefits packages.
  3. You may not achieve salary parity with men if you don’t advocate for pay equity.
  4. Interning at a legal firm can give you an advantage if you want to pursue a career as an attorney.
  5. Using platitudes and clichés when giving a talk can make you sound insincere.
  6. When Bleinheim LLC was hiring, the firm required you to take a series of psychological tests to determine if you would fit into the corporate culture.
  7. Before the writing seminar, you were supposed to complete a self-assessment form.
  8. To improve an organization’s culture, you can ask your Human Relations director to develop workshops or one-on-one coaching for management positions.
  9. If you ask for an accommodation due to a medical condition, you may be able to telecommute.
  10. You have to be careful about pre-judging others, especially if you work for an organization that deals with different kinds of customers.

Avoiding Misuse of You Key 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Women Can’t Win

Although the gap has narrowed between what similarly qualified men and women earn—in2016 women earned 81 cents on the dollar, up from 57 cents in 1975—women still earn $1 million less than men over the course of their careers. A reportpublished by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workplace found that while women are indeed making inroads toward pay equality, the gap is still broad and difficult to bridge.

The research revealed that women have made advancements. For example, more women are choosing majors that lead to high-paying jobs. However, they still tend to choose the lowest paying areas within those fields. So, while more women now study engineering, they disproportionately make up workers entering the lowest-paying area of engineering, environmental engineering, instead of the highest earning area, petroleum engineering.

Interestingly, women now receive more bachelor’s and doctoral degrees than men and pursue fields traditionally reserved for men. Nevertheless, they still hold most of the jobs in low-paying fields overall. Even when women do choose high-paying careers such as medicine and business, fewer make it to the most lucrative specialties or the board rooms than their male counterparts.

Stereotypes and cultural biases play a big role in the pay gap, the research found. Girls are still steered away from math-related careers, typically the highest-paying occupations. Likewise, traditional notions about women’s roles push them toward occupations such as teaching that center around nurturing. Additionally, women continue to carry the primary burden for childcare, especially when children are young, which takes them out of the game for higher paying jobs.

 The report concludes that women can equalize the pay gap by doing the following:

  • earning a second degree
  • obtaining a graduate degree if majoring in the liberal arts
  • negotiating the first salary well, since it affects lifetime earnings
  • being cautious of vocational certificates, which are of limited value to women in the labor market


  1. Why do you think many women choose low-paying fields such as education more frequently than higher paying careers?
  2. What reasons can you think of that lead to fewer women leading organizations than men?
  3. What kinds of discrimination do you imagine women face in the