11 Women Open Up About the Best Bosses They've Had & Why They Rocked

Wendy Robinson | Jul 21, 2016 Money
11 Women Open Up About the Best Bosses They've Had & Why They Rocked

happy worker

When it comes to work place villains, the bad boss is a common story. Most of us have had a bad boss experience, from sexual harassment to inept management. However, there are some of us who have been lucky enough to have amazing bosses who have gone above and beyond to make sure their employees were taken care of. 

As someone who has been both a boss and an employee, I must say these stories fill me with hope -- both that there are good managers out there and that someday someone will say nice things about me as their supervisor.

Read on for real stories of bosses you'd LOVE to work for. And if you are the boss, consider these folks your management role models!


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  • There for Me

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    "My boss at summer camp, my program director, held my hand the moment I found out my mom was killed. She had people pack up my sh*t, move my car, and let me sleep with her until my flight. She cried with me and made me tea and was so kind. She had lost her mom suddenly a few years previous. She was so there for me." -- Jenn R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • Reasonable and Fair

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    "My new boss is really good. It's clear that he views being a manager as his most important role, and he has spent a lot of time and effort honing his skills in this area. He is reasonable, diplomatic, and fair. He listens and makes informed decisions based heavily on the advice and feedback of his subordinates. He supports and helps identify opportunities for professional development, both for one's current role and for future career goals. I feel respected and appreciated and empowered under his management.

    I was ready to leave my institution and try to find a good job elsewhere before my previous boss exited. Now, I'm happy to go to work again. It's really great!" -- Rachel B., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • The Joy of Female Bosses

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    "I have had the pleasure of working for mainly female bosses, and have benefited and learned so much from them. Many were excellent seamstresses (my line of work) who gave me instruction on perfecting my craft freely and with joy.

    My best boss was when I worked a summer at the Smithsonian folklife festival. Our boss was the director of the festival and over many, many people. She was kind, very firm, and extremely loved by all who worked for her. She always took the time to get to know everyone and uplift them. The festival was very challenging, fast-moving work involving long days. Diana, the boss, was great at motivating everyone and available for any problem solving. She also joined us for many of the days-end gatherings/parties. One of my favorite jobs ever!!" -- Jennifer H., Washington, DC

  • School Support

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    "At my last job, I was struggling to keep my head above water while balancing work, family, and grad school. My boss told me to take two weeks off, paid, so I could finish my dissertation. She said she wanted to make sure work didn't get in the way of me meeting this big life goal. I'll forever be grateful." -- Annie Q., San Diego, California

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  • Male Feminists

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    "I would characterize both my manager and director as male feminists, and as such they are awesome to work for. They are also both highly engaged dads, so I feel zero conflict between home and work. They get it. They're juggling, too." -- Catherine E., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • The Tip

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    "Once, when I was a waitress, a couple came in and tipped me change, like maybe 15 cents (after having a free meal that they won in a charity raffle or something). My boss, the owner, chased after them and told them off. He then tipped me himself." -- Jennifer C., Buffalo, New York

  • Military Wife

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    "I've been fortunate to have three really wonderful bosses. The first was particularly supportive when my husband was deployed to Iraq. I worked for a small nonprofit and we used to get the daily paper. At the time, the war was front page news every day and it was hard to see the scary headlines. She quickly unsubscribed to the paper and subscribed to People magazine instead. I was newly out of college and she trusted me and gave me opportunities to grow that I couldn't have gotten elsewhere. She was a great mentor and still a good friend." -- Sara D., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Life Balance

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    "My boss has been very supportive of me balancing dual careers and becoming a mother. He allowed me to relocate to another office (not in the same state as him) so my husband and I could both have jobs in the same place. He completely trusts me to do my work on my own. He supports telework and flexible schedules. He was my boss through both my pregnancies and ensured that I was completely 'off' when on maternity leave and took as much time off as I needed. Even with all the flexibility, he also checks in to make sure I am getting the professional development opportunities I need to advance my career. He treats all of his staff with both respect and compassion." -- Leslie B., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Sick Days

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    "My boss has an unwritten policy that if our kid is sick, we work from home and don't have to take a sick day. We don't get many days of paid leave, so this really helps." -- Hallie K., Des Moines, Iowa

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  • Little Visitor

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    "My boss was instrumental in fighting for an on-site child care center. I am grateful every time I go down and get to nurse my baby on my lunch hour. It is a blessing." -- Marie M., Kansas City, Missouri

  • Maternity Leave

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    "When I was out on maternity leave and struggling with having to come back when my baby was only 8 weeks old, I got an email from my boss. She had donated 80 hours of leave to me. Because her salary was higher than mine, it ended up being 160 hours of paid leave for me. What an amazing gift." -- Sue T., Tucson, Arizona 

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