Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, December 9, 2018

"Breaking down generational stereotypes in the workplace"/ "Why you should mix seasoned managers with millennials"

Apr. 30, 2018 "Breaking down generational stereotypes in the workplace": Today I found this article by Naomi Titleman Colla in the Globe and Mail:

In this new world of work, we have five generations working side by side. This has created some tension, as stereotypes emerge, sometimes unfairly, about one another’s work ethic, ways of working and expectations.

Being part of the “Xennial" micro-generation myself, (straddling the X and millennial generations), I often find myself translating among the generations. While we are all influenced by the economic, political, social, technological and other factors surrounding our birth year, millennials are still getting an unfairly bad rap.

First, a bit of level setting: Millennial is not a condition or a way of being … it’s a generational definition of those born between 1980 and the mid-1990s. The oldest millennials are turning 38 this year – they are not all fresh out of college – and they will soon be at your senior executive tables, if they’re not already running the show. 

Perhaps if we viewed current workplace realities through a renewed lens, we would better understand each other and create a more inclusive and productive work environment:

Reality 1: Hard work looks different now than it did 20 years ago – that doesn’t mean millennials have a poor work ethic

When I started in the work force, new employees earned their stripes by pulling “all nighters” building cumbersome Excel models and PowerPoint presentations, pretty much from scratch. That’s how we learned and that’s how work got done – we had no other choice.

With the technology we now have at our disposal, we need to continue to push for productivity and results versus face time and hours – we now have sophisticated tools that takes care of a lot of the tasks that once occupied a significant portion of our days (and nights). 

This is not to say millennials don’t work hard – they are just focused on different things. For example, I’ve worked with a few millennials who have built and sold (or folded) businesses before even entering the work force — experiences such as these strengthen fundamental skills that are far more applicable and portable in today’s work environment. 

So instead of judging someone (millennial or otherwise) as having poor work ethic for taking a two-week vacation, because “you would never have done that,” perhaps focus on how to ensure productivity is not negatively impacted in workers’ absences:

  • Evaluate workplace policies to ensure they reflect the current realities of your organization and work force. If the business cannot support extended (voluntary) absences, policies should be clear. Conversely, some companies are now going as far as implementing an unlimited vacation policy, trusting that employees will be responsible and do the right thing. If they don’t keep up with business needs, it’s a performance-management issue.
  • Engage employees in the solution – they need to be accountable for transitioning their work to/from colleagues, ensuring work continues to move forward in their absence.

Reality 2: Millennials seek work experiences that tie to purpose, where they can drive impact – that doesn’t mean they aren’t loyal

In this new world of work, loyalty may no longer mean staying with one company as a full-time employee for 30 years, but workers will still continue to be loyal to companies they believe connect to a greater purpose, even after they leave. Instead of lamenting that millennials are not loyal:

  • Stay true to your organization’s purpose and ensure it permeates your employee— and customer-value proposition
  • Retention bonuses are often a Band-Aid solution at best – if talent wants to leave, they will eventually — better to be prepared: avoid major disruption and lost productivity by building agile teams and focusing on succession/backfill solutions and knowledge management

Reality 3: Top talent deserves to be promoted if they are the best candidate for the job – that doesn’t mean all millennials should expect quicker promotions

A common complaint about the millennial generation is that they expect to be promoted so quickly. A few tips to manage expectations, re: promotions with your work force:
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion by giving equal opportunity to all employees, regardless of generation. Of course, years of experience is one factor, but may not be a deal breaker for all roles
  • Don’t be afraid to have the hard conversation with employees who expect promotions but are not yet deserving – if you show them fairness and take an interest in their career, you can often avoid attrition and set them up for success in the long run

"Why you should mix seasoned managers with millennials": Today I found this article by Mike Thorne in the Globe and Mail:

President, JustJunk.

When building a management team, what’s the right balance to strike? In startup cultures there’s a push for innovation, to be on the edge of the next great technological breakthrough.

 And the youthful energy can make that innovation feasible … for a time.

But what happens when a business grows to a point where you’re interacting with more and more businesses or a customer demographic that isn’t full of millennials? 

The millennial drive has peaks and valleys, so when I was expanding my management staff – positions filled by younger, innovative people – I opted to go a different route. I asked, “What could experienced staff bring to the table?” Though it almost seems divisive, generational gaps can be beneficial in management teams. 


You’re full of new and innovative ideas and highly efficient as a result of being raised with technology. Many in the the older generations have, of course, experienced technology but have had to adapt to it. 

You have grown up with it, developed with it and integrated it into your lifestyle. You’re forever on the cusp of the new digital developments and will be the primary customer demographic before you know it. Everyone will want your attention and you’re uniquely aware of how brands and advertisers operate. 

Millennials will keep businesses on their toes.

I have noticed a trend, however, that millennials in business typically avoid the phone like the plague and prefer to correspond via e-mail and text. Some people communicate very well this way, but I wonder if there isn’t a loss of a personal touch by removing the human voice and face from these conversations.

 E-mail and text communication loses a lot of the nuance that comes through in phone calls or face-to-face meetings. A light tone or a joke in an e-mail may not translate, and I’ve had to field more concerns than I thought I would about e-mail communication.

My advice to younger staff:

1. Pick up the phone more often; don’t jump right to business. It helps to develop longer-lasting business relationships.

2. New technology can offer great new methods of reaching your customer, but if your customers don’t use that technology you may be in for a struggle. Know your customer first.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask. This is where the experienced staff come in handy. Their years in the industry might help them answer a specific question you may be struggling with, and they’re always happy to chat.

Experienced staff

Hiring for experience, on the contrary, will minimize trial and error in your organization. The fast pace of younger workers should be met with a sense of calm in solving any contentious issues that may arise.

 Experienced talent acts as a voice to quickly determine how to get from A to B, without making many wrong turns along the way.

Though they may be less tech-savvy, having experienced staff almost always guarantees a strong work ethic without the worry that focus will shift in too many directions at once.

 My advice to the experienced staff is:

1. Don’t fret the tech. Though younger staff may be more in tune with technological developments, their respect for experience often excuses any missteps you may have with it. Often the younger staff is excited to share with you just how to use technology to make your life more efficient. 

2. You can never overshare your experience. Millennials in management are eager to hear how you learned over the years and how you built companies from the ground up. You share their spirit, their eagerness, and their will to succeed and try new things. They know that what got you where you are can get them where they want to be, too. 

We’ve been able to marry the two work ethics together. We’re still on the cutting edge of technology and keep up with new ideas, but we’ve tempered that with the patient business experience that only years in industry can hone and develop. When both groups exchange their tactics, the entire organization benefits. It’s a strong, forward-thinking blend that continues to work for JUSTJUNK.

"What's Britain's gender pay gaps say about performance"/ "HSBC's 59% gender pay gap is largest among UK banks"

Mar. 16, 2018 "What's Britain's gender pay gaps say about performance": Today I found this article by Elaine He in the Globe and Mail:

Every day that draws closer to the April 4 deadline for British companies to declare their gender pay gaps brings a pickup in the number of reports on file, and these cement the sad truth that men tend to get paid more than women.

Only about a fifth of the companies who must submit their wage data have done so. Of the approximately 1,800 entities that filed as of Friday, fewer than 100 were listed companies or their subsidiaries.

For these entities, which are subject to much greater public scrutiny, it is stark how men dominate the upper-middle and highest pay quartiles. Though there are variations across industries -- finance tends to have bigger gaps, and consumer staples smaller ones -- U.K. Plc is very much the purview of men. 

This raises the question of whether there’s any connection between gender pay gaps and performance, as measured by total returns. The data submitted so far show little relationship between the two. This suggests that leadership by men is not a prerequisite for good performance -- the companies in both scatterplots show returns ranged from the truly dismal to the marvelous. 

These charts show a roughly flat relationship of pay gaps and total returns on a one-year basis...

...and on a five-year basis.
This analysis is preliminary. Thousands more U.K. companies have yet to report, and the picture could change as new data come in.
But it’s not too soon to consider why there are so few women in positions of power. Companies have commented on their commitment to advancing women alongside their damning government-mandated pay-gap reports.
However, women are less likely than men to be pushed to take on more responsibility, or compensated for doing a good job, according to a YouGov survey. And, they’re more likely to face questions on their commitment to their employer.
Given the new transparency in pay reporting, perhaps now there’s scope for seeing measurable improvement in the number of women taking charge at British companies.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Elaine He is Bloomberg Gadfly’s data visualization columnist in Europe, focusing on business and markets coverage. Before joining Bloomberg, she was a graphics editor at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

"HSBC's 59% gender pay gap is largest among UK banks": Today I found this article by Karin Strohecker and Laurence White in the Globe and Mail:

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L) will reveal a gender pay gap of 59 percent at its main UK banking operation, the biggest yet disclosed by a British bank, according to a copy of the lender’s report on the subject seen by Reuters on Thursday ahead of its publication.

The bank will also disclose a mean gender bonus gap of 86 percent at HSBC Bank Plc, which is the biggest of the lender’s seven entities in Britain and employs 23,507 people.

A spokeswoman for the bank confirmed the contents of the report. 

The gender pay gap is the biggest yet reported by a British financial firm, according to

 government data, with some firms yet to provide figures ahead of an April deadline set by 

Prime Minister Theresa May last year. 

Almost 50 years since the passage of Britain’s equal pay act, the continued gulf in earnings 

between men and women has attracted significant public attention over the past year or so.

In common with other banks, HSBC said its pay gap was largely accounted for by the 

bank having fewer women in senior roles. 

The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average salary of men and 

women, calculated on an hourly basis.

HSBC said women held only 23 percent of senior leadership positions in its 

workforce in Britain, despite accounting for more than half of total staff. 

The bank said it was taking a number of steps to reduce the pay gap, including committing 

to an aspirational target of women holding 30 percent of senior roles by 2020. 

Last month, Asia-focused Standard Chartered reported a gap of 30 percent in Britain, while

Virgin Money - the only major UK lender run by a woman - said its female staff earned on 

average 32.5 percent less per hour than its male workforce. 

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) reported gender pay gaps of 32.8 percent and 37 percent respectively. 

Barclays said last month it paid women in its international division, which houses its 

investment bank, on average 48 percent of what men earned in fixed pay. 

The pay gaps have drawn criticism from lawmakers and are likely to spur questions from 

investors in the upcoming season for shareholder meetings, with stock prices and future 

earnings potential strongly linked to banks’ efforts to revive their reputations in the wake of 

the global financial crisis.