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The corporate gibberish

In the intricate tapestry of corporate culture, the promises made on company websites often seem like distant dreams when compared to the day-to-day realities. Having spent over five years navigating this landscape, I’ve observed firsthand the stark contrast between what’s professed and what’s practiced across industries, from the towering giants of FMCG to the innovative startups in the tech world.
One of the most glaring discrepancies lies in the realm of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). While many companies boast about their commitment to these values, the implementation often falls short. As I reflect on my experiences, I can’t help but recall a telling incident from a reputed FMCG company in Pakistan. It was International Women’s Day, and a senior colleague casually questioned its significance, to which another colleague, shockingly, dismissed it as a “dumb concept” that probably has been in practice since the year 2018. I mean, seriously? It left me pondering: “Is it ignorance or a facade of knowledge? What’s the point of pretending?” Both of them were working on managerial positions and were graduates of prestigious universities. In such moments, the disconnect between stated values and actual practices becomes painfully clear. Yet, amidst the sea of disillusionment, there are beacons of hope. Companies like FriesLandCampina Engro Pakistan or must I give a shout-out to the parent company, Engro Corp – they stand out for their genuine commitment to inclusive practices. During my internship there back in 2018, I witnessed firsthand how every value they claim to uphold is reflected in their actions. It was heartening to see individuals from diverse backgrounds contributing meaningfully to projects, breaking barriers and stereotypes along the way. There was a girl who was blind and had a Master’s degree and a guy who was deaf and dumb yet was included in every project and social groups. Engro has always maintained an excellent example of a good culture and non-toxic practices because they are highly skilled and professional individuals who focus on projects, progress and revenue parallel to their values and human resources management.
But the tale doesn’t end there. Startups, often hailed as the epitome of innovation and progress, present their own set of challenges and triumphs. While some embrace a culture of flexibility and balance, others succumb to the pitfalls of overwork and underpayment. Late nights and exploitative practices can drain motivation and stifle productivity, painting a grim picture of the startup dream. However, amid the chaos, there are success stories worth celebrating. Startups that prioritize employee well-being and foster a supportive environment see tangible benefits. Their happy, satisfied employees are a testament to the power of a healthy work culture. As one colleague put it, “They don’t work on weekends, have a good balance, and their managers are super chill. It’s the secret sauce to their success.”
But let’s not sugarcoat the reality. Effecting meaningful change in corporate culture is no small feat. It requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, from top management to entry-level employees. As I reflect on my journey, I’m reminded of the importance of holding companies accountable to their values. As one colleague aptly said, “What’s the point of having big projects if they’re just going to go to waste?”. My point is, this corporate gibberish will continue as long as the world economy is walking, running or just crawling but individual efforts to foster growth and development must not stop. I read a quote some time ago and completely resonated with it, “When you no longer crave change and knowledge, you have reached to that ultimate point of fatal end”. And I am not ready to die yet! I don’t think you are either.
In conclusion, let’s heed the call to action. Let’s bridge the gap between corporate values and real-world actions, one step at a time. As we embark on this journey, let’s embrace a new mindset-one fueled by passion, willingness to challenge the status quo, and a genuine desire to build inclusive, impactful workplaces. It’s time for corporate gibberish to stop and for companies to walk the talk, for the betterment of individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.

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