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The Globe and Mail

Top-ranked bosses know how to 'walk the talk'
From defending staff to child care help, top employers earn accolades, VIRGINIA GALT writes

The Globe and Mail, WORKPLACE REPORTER, VIRGINIA GALT, October 28, 2006

Finding quality child care for her daughter was not a problem when first-time mother Anuradha Ray was ready to return to her job as senior compliance analyst at KPMG LLP -- the Toronto-based accounting firm had reserved a spot for baby Kavya in a nearby child care centre.

Better still, Ms. Ray's manager indulged her compulsion to peek at Kavya every now and then through the webcam mounted on her computer at work that was connected with the child care centre.

At Toronto-based Cisco Systems Canada Co., chief executive officer Terry Walsh encourages employees to tell him if he has made a bad call. It is not a career-limiting move, he insists, to say: "Terry, you're an idiot."

And when a surly customer treats his employees poorly, Chris Carder, CEO of Toronto-based technology company ThinData Inc., doesn't let it pass. He makes sure to intervene and let it be known he won't allow his employees to be treated that way.

These are among several companies that have won various best-employer accolades from their own employees in recent weeks, both because of their policies and because of the way their bosses behave.

A company can have great policies on paper but, unless managers all the way to the top "walk the talk" and apply those policies fairly and consistently, it will never make the grade as a great place to work, says Catharine Fennell, president of the Toronto-based career consulting firm Market Yourself Smarter.

"There is no greater compliment for any organization than to be voted onto the island by their own employees," says Ms. Fennell, who presented some best-boss practices at a conference in Toronto this week.

Drawing on interviews from more than 400 employees about what differentiates a bad boss from a great boss, Ms. Fennell and Daphne Woolf, managing partner of The Collin Baer Group, reported this week that "gaining employees' trust and loyalty are two of the highest employee rewards any employer could expect to strive for."

Employees want bosses who follow through on promises, who mean what they say, who act fairly and who support employees in their career development, says Ms. Woolf, whose firm advises clients on employee engagement issues.

ThinData was among 10 Canadian firms recognized as employers that "walk the talk" by Ms. Fennell and Ms. Woolf this week. Others included Cisco Systems Canada Co., Bell Canada, a unit of Montreal-based BCE Inc., and Toronto-based public relations firm Media Profile, all of which appeared on a panel discussing their policies and boss practices this week.

At Boston Consulting Group, recently recognized as one of the Best 100 Employers to work for by New York-based Working Mother magazine, Toronto-based consultant Nan Dasgupta says many employers talk a good campaign; hers follows through.

The company sends in emergency nannies when its high-priced consultants are in a babysitting jam. These "improv nannies" drive the kids to and from school, stay late if necessary -- and arrive with toys. Ms. Dasgupta says the emergency nanny service, paid for by her employer, was of enormous benefit recently when her regular nanny fell ill and she needed someone -- fast -- to care for her three young children.

The firm also allows returning mothers to reduce their work loads or work flexible hours without compromising their career prospects.

"The most critical thing about what makes this such a great environment is that I don't worry about what people are thinking, I'm not being judged, and for me, that makes the biggest difference," Ms. Dasgupta says. "I don't feel bad about saying I'd like to take my kid to school. People don't think twice about it. A lot of the dads take their kids to school, too."

At KPMG, which has retained its coveted spot as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, as rated by Toronto-based Mediacorp Canada Inc., Ms. Ray is easing back into full-time work. She has been working three days a week since returning from her maternity leave this past September.

Even before she officially returned from maternity leave, Ms. Ray was able to take a course and enhance her skills because the firm subsidized an emergency spot for Kavya in a centre operated by Toronto-based Kids & Co., which now supplies full-time and back-up service on behalf of 300 corporate clients in Canada. Kids & Co. just opened its first overnight child-care centre in Toronto and also offers night and weekend service as well to working parents.

This is a huge benefit to people like Ms. Ray, especially since she and her husband, Sanjay, have no immediate family nearby to help them out in a pinch.

"We have our careers, we have invested a lot in our careers, but we also have our child . . . and we can actually have a balance, which is just wonderful for me," Ms. Ray says -- and is the kind of thing that wins companies accolades from their employees.

A good boss is:

Accessible: A good boss is available to answer questions and provide direction. He or she is also receptive to ideas.

Supportive: A good boss not only serves as a mentor, but also promotes the best interests of employees. This boss does not block a promotion just because he or she doesn't want to lose a star performer.

In tune with employees: A good boss provides his or her employees with rewards that really matter ona personal basis, beyond cash bonuses. It could be as simple as saying thank you or giving a Friday afternoon off to get away to the cottage.

Responsive: A good boss sets aside some time, as soon as possible, for employees who request a conference -- and keeps the appointment.

A bad boss is:

Elitist: Employees do not appreciate bosses who clearly value some people more than others because of their job titles or the roles they perform.

Condescending: Employees want to be informed, and included, in decision making. They resent it when information is withheld because a manager thinks they don't need to know.

Inconsistent: Employees are quick to spot inconsistencies regarding what bosses say they are going to do and what they actually do. They also want equitable application of company policies and equal opportunity for promotion.

Dismissive: Employees want to be treated with respect and regarded as people, not "widgets." Employees who are on leaves of absence or maternity do not want to suffer "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" career setbacks.

How to build your own boss

Human resources consulting firm Development Dimensions International says that griping about the boss is a popular pastime with employees. So, "we're challenging them to see if they can do better," says Jocelyn Brard, managing director of Toronto-based DDI Canada.

DDI has created an interactive on-line program that allows players to choose from a list of traits to create the boss they would love to work for -- and play back the results. They can also select traits that characterize their current boss, and play back an animated version of the man or woman they have to report to every day on the job.

Click on and follow the prompts.

Just be prepared to exit the site quickly if your real boss comes up behind you.

Source: Daphne Woolf, managing partner of Collin Baer Group

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Mother had sex with child sons | Toronto Star

Mother confesses to sex with sons

Had intercourse with 2 teenagers

Pleads guilty to incest charges

A Kitchener woman has pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with her two teenage sons on separate occasions.

Mainichi Daily News| Woman who cut off her newborn son's genitals handed 5-year prison term

Woman who cut off her newborn son's private parts handed 5-year prison term

Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006

SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.

The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.

"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term.  Read More ..

The Guardian UK - Female Sexual Predators - Female sex offenders

Up to 64,000 women in UK 'are child-sex offenders'

After Plymouth case shocked the nation, police say number of women abusing children

The Guardian UK and The Observer
4 October 2009

Researchers from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF), a child protection charity that deals with British female sex offenders, said its studies confirmed that a "fair proportion" of child abusers were women. Donald Findlater, director of research and development, said results indicated that up to 20% of a conservative estimate of 320,000 suspected UK paedophiles were women.

Female Teacher Sexual Assault Student

Associated Press logo

Female Teacher Charged With Sex Assault on Seventh-Grade Boy

Associated Press / Fox News

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A 35-year-old seventh-grade teacher was charged with having sex with one of her students at least 20 times at the teacher's home.

Jodi Thorp, 35, surrendered to authorities Monday on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors claim she had sex with the boy at her Mendham home between June 2001 and September 2002. The boy is now 15.