The corporate workplace – logic, reason, informed opinions. A democratic forum for every working citizen. What attributes are not acceptable or welcomed in the workplace? A deviated intellect? A seemingly radical notion to improve society? Anything that is not in accordance to corporate standards as outlined in every vague mission statement? Most activists liken to the idea of the first amendment, but let’s be realistic, the first amendment does not specify where you can have these beliefs, expressions, and/or opinions that deviate from what is expected of a corporate identity within that infrastructure.
I began to work for corporations when I finished my masters from a reputable university in London, England. Given I didn’t have much work experience besides internships and part-time work during my undergrad, I was very limited in my choices. I began applying for entry-level positions. So here I was – an intelligent, driven, ambitious individual with an array of skills, abilities, strengths whose only choice was to apply for entry-level roles. Despite what every recruiter and ‘how to get a job’ website was telling me, I still applied for mid-level positions. Much to my dismay, I was ‘academically over-qualified and professionally under-qualified.’ My journey through corporatism started in the cosmopolitan heart of London, England. I underwent an excruciating process of interviews and dealing with recruitment agencies who did everything in their power to sell you – from editing your resume (CV) which in my case meant ‘dumbing me down’ to providing me with a generic script of ‘what to say in interviews.’
I had a master’s degree from a top university in the UK and a load of work experience throughout my undergraduate career; yet I did not possess substantial, long-term professional experience in one particular job. Really? That’s the ultimate indicator for someone starting ‘at the bottom’? So I began my gradual descendence into boredom, dumbing myself down, and working in non-stimulating environments. I continued to ask myself – is this really what I independently worked so hard for? To end up in a position and environment which did not support who I was and where I was prevented from utilizing the acquired intellect, skills, abilities, and strengths? I desperately had to believe there was a viable alternative. I wanted to be a professional, to work in a position where I could fully tap into my potential. Throughout my professional journey, I had people ‘reassure’ me through statements such as:
-It’s just a job. (Right, so where I dedicate and invest 40+ hours a week shouldn’t really matter that much).
-You will never find a perfect job. (It’s a meaningless comment that people who have seemingly ‘given up’ say).
-You have to adapt to the corporate environment. That’s real world living. (So if your boss enjoys going to strip clubs, go along for the ride…a new promotion awaits)! <<true story.
Most of the corporations I worked for involved a typical organizational structure including:
-Mostly white men on the board of management/executives
-All the mission statements and company vision sections were similar if not oddly identical
-A peculiar social conditioning process which occurs through the illusion of financial profit/gain.
-An outright lie that your earning potential can exponentially increase if you’re competitive with colleagues, professionally manipulate clientele/customers, and demonstrate an obedient attitude towards superiors even if they’re unprofessional.
The recruitment agents trained me on how to correctly ask and answer questions during interviews. I soon realized it’s a game and you learn how to play but for what gain? Most people work to live. Most people feel they are deserving of a higher salary. Most people work far more than the 40+ hours they’re initially scheduled to work and not paid overtime in some cases. So why are we trying so hard to get our foot into these facilities, and become robotic assets to people drinking mojitos on their islands who we rarely ever meet? Because we’re given the illusion that we could also be drinking mojitos on our island, but this is not reality and we all know it internally. So what’s the real answer as to why we are conditioned and trained to work in these types of organizational structures? Because there is no viable alternative.
When I researched all the companies I interviewed with along with the companies I actually worked for, I was disappointed to see a few quirks. There is absolutely no reason as to why a company in a westernized society should have far less than a proportionate amount of females working in head management (based on overall percentage of management who is female). One reason I believe this exists in many corporate infrastructures in both the USA and UK is that corporations are believed to be boys’ clubs where men develop partnerships. In other words, when women join, they appear as a sore thumb.
By keeping one race and gender at the top of the corporate ladder, we are blindly accepting and conforming to a bias, designated socialization process, and being deceived into believing that freedom of expression, equal opportunities, and discrimination laws are actually sufficient and intact. We are again disillusioned because we are given a piece of the corporate pie which silences and leads us to a professional life of self-deprecation and inequality. Most of the companies I researched in the UK typically had the Chairman take the place of his father. Well, how convenient is that? A continuation of the patriarch passing down his wealth and business of inequality to his one and only son.
The main purpose of corporatism is to make a profit. To use and train humans into being robotic minions to bring in millions for their own selfish desires. The top 1-3% of CEOs, Chairmen, and owners of these large corporations can care less about your well-being (unless you’re profitable human capital). The equal opportunity and anti-discriminatory disclaimers is simply a clever approach to appearing democratic and avoiding lawsuits. However, lawsuits are already rare among entry-level, junior, associate employees. The immediate solution to restructuring corporate infrastructure and identities is realization, discussion, and execution. Execution of alternative plans. Let’s find one because we’re all worthy.