A Woman’s View: corporate economics

In today’s capitalist society, the power and wealth seem to always go to the rich while, the middle-class work to line the very pockets of those who seem to already have it all.

This concept has overtaken almost every corporation in the U.S. and our own city.  While realizing that there will never be a utopian society, regardless of whether it’s democratic, autocratic, theocratic or otherwise, we have to acknowledge the unfair treatments of our current standing.

How many times have we all been there, where upper management makes a decision that drastically affects everybody else, causes more work overload and no difference in pay?  Meanwhile, the executives who devised the new system or issued job orders reap the rewards of the hard-working employees whose daily tasks and work hours do not improve. 

Sadly, with the recession, many of us are endure this treatment for fear of unemployment.  The realm of corporate politics stretches to both genders, but tends to take a worse toll on females, who are already struggling to either climb the corporate ladder or prove their abilities.

“I am a driver for this corporation and without any consulting of us or any raises, they told us that certain drivers would have to extend their hours to seven days a week, including holidays,”  said Bobbie.  “Now we work six-hour days seven days a week and are just expected to work holidays.  They told us this new contract our company acquired was worth millions, yet we were denied raises.  It’s just not right.”

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of women just like Bobbie all over the NEast who have experienced similar situations or know someone stuck in this type of undesirable position.  Many would say, that’s just life, deal with it, but is it really life? However antiquated the theory may seem, the idea of working to live and not living to work is a rare situation in this day and age that should be applied more often than it is.  Some of the effects of making work your life can be drastic on not only your mental health, but also your physical health.

“When I started working at my job, there was a woman who rarely took vacation and would actually work through her lunch.  She had done so for 25 years at this place and as thanks, they didn’t even give her a raise, but piled more work on her and she ended up having a stroke,” said Annemarie of Frankford. “I am not saying that the place caused her stroke but it is very possible.”

Family life seems to be giving way to longer hours, stress, fewer vacations and work overload.  People – not just women – are becoming all-consumed with their work.  If you don’t put in more than your required 40 hours, you are almost looked at as lazy or not willing to climb ahead.  Many people are now seeking second jobs to make ends meet.

“No matter how hard I work I still can’t make my rent,” Kathleen said.  “I was not given a raise for the past two years because our company said they didn’t have the money.  Yet they are getting all kinds of new business and the higher-ups still get their bonuses.  Not only that, they cut our hours down to 38-hour work-weeks so they could save on medical insurance and not have to cover us.”

However unjust these accounts may seem, the corporate world cannot be denied rule over some portion of our lives.  The key thing to remember is to not get lost in your work and position within a company.  Hobbies, family and friends are an integral part of life and happiness.  You need work to obtain money to support your life, that much is a given. But you also need relaxation and mental calmness that can be achieved through obtaining personal goals not related to work.

No matter how hard we try, in today’s world we are slaves to our jobs, careers and employers.  Having an outspoken voice within that company may be detrimental to your job, but you should always strive to be heard and seek the treatment and compensation you deserve.  If more employees stick together, we might be able to end some of the injustice that plagues corporate America thanks to tyrants who are blinded by wealth.

A Woman’s View is a column about women’s issues written by Donna Ward. The column appears every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEastPhilly columns here.

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