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Why Big Name Brands Can’t Afford Toxic Work Spaces

This climate of reckoning that’s holding influential industries hostage with the mandate of swiftly discarding all evidence of foulness has been long overdue.

It’s both interesting and mildly amusing to observe the blare of headlines, that confirm the sense of urgency, dictating the desperation and fear plaguing notable corporations and white celebs as they go above and beyond to avoid getting entangled by the mercilessness of cancel culture.

Outdated episodes from iconic shows are getting pulled, white actors and actresses are resigning their voice-over roles as characters-of-color, corporate heads at white-owned companies are stepping down in response to public uproar over normalized lack of diversity — the accountability list is ever growing.

While the acknowledgment of how shitty things have been, due to overt racism in corporate spaces, which seamlessly allows for the willful exclusion of Black talents, in ways that inadvertently creates instances of misguided narratives, is the validation of what was never hidden, we have to also call out the toxic culture dominating the collapsing corridors of media organizations.

The newfound empowerment of former and current employees of big name brands that are revered for stellar reputations, that attract the desire for compulsory associations has revealed what most of us already knew.

The damning exposure of hostile work environments in places like Refinery29, Bon Appetit, and Essence Magazine, to name a few, basically serves as the undisputed proof of how prominent brands have been encouraged to weaponize their immense power, at the expense of powerless employees who are trained to endure rampant intimidation.

As someone who has worked in various sectors of the job market, and in some cases, stationed at the hub of well-known companies, I’m acutely aware of how the normalized dysfunction with the traitorous assistance of Human Resources, which we can admit is the reason why the history of complaints against senior management goes unchecked.

It’s time to retire the damaging mindset that reinforces the myth that in order to successfully survive in ambitious work environments, that willfully cosign abusive themes that are meant to inspire gratitude for that lucky admission to prime opportunities, you have to grin and bear it or risk getting replaced.

As someone who had to learn the hard lessons of how idolized institutions are addicted to the habit of weaponizing authority, through gross negligence that arms managers with permission to smother the rights of obedient employees — I’m cautiously optimistic that this era of enlightenment will bring an end to these terrible practices.

We’ve been programmed by the systemic belief of oppression, under glitzy corporations, in the name of enviable trajectories, and the much-needed highlights on resumes, populating a competitive landscape.

There has to be the rejection of these norms as the endorsed pathway for career pursuits.

And while it’s perfectly reasonable to desire alignment with the best of the best in the industry of your choice, we shouldn’t have to be demeaned by the requirements of mandated initiation, that include being overworked, underpaid, and routinely harassed by the rulebook that contains all the reasons why we won’t be protected.

Notable brands should persevere to restructure their corporate spaces, so they are designed to advance the non-negotiable quest of equality, while also putting the best interests of employees at the forefront of operations.

Nobody should have to suffer the implications of working in an environment that’s prized for the recognizable big, bold letters that spell out why it’s necessary to eat shit, for just being to walk through the doors leading to limitless possibilities.

It’s starts with maximizing talent and compensating excellence with salary raises, bonuses and promotions — the necessary blast from the past.

It continues with the reestablishment of respect, and the exchange of ideas that increase the vitalness of those who are willing to go the extra mile for rewards that go beyond the pat on the back, and empty promises for a paycheck that covers basic expenses.

The world is changing, and this means the decreased worship of brands and celebrity culture.

That’s why big name brands can’t afford to remain toxic.

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