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Mikey Battiston
Mikey Battiston

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Cultural Hegemony In Workplace Culture

A long time ago I wrote this little thing and I just re-read it and still stand by it.

On the 7th of October, 2020 - the team at Slack posted a thing on their blog, which discusses "New data from a global survey of more than 9,000 knowledge workers".

The authors do not seem to use the term "global" as it relates to 'whole of the set of knowledge workers which were surveyed', but rather as it relates to 'the whole world', which seems like a misrepresentation of 'the geographical distribution of the whole set of knowledge workers which were surveyed'.

The thing is, using the term "global" as an aggregate for "America, Asia, Australia and Europe" is not only misleading, but a stark reminder that cultural hegemony in the workplace pervades the very homes of the very people marginalised by it. Slack can do better.

New Data, Old Story

As I read the blog post in 2020, I really not good about their use of the term "global"; which they seem to have no trouble assuming that it means everywhere Slack has employees - as they only seemed to survey people in:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Australia

To add insult to injury, the survey data was presented on a World Map® which places labels for European and North American statistics directly on top of Africa and South America.

image

Their idea of global doesn't include three of the continents on this planet

What this says to me? Well, when I see that this survey is labelled as "GLOBAL" - and yet not one person in either Africa or South America was surveyed; It says "South America & Africa do not matter".

At least they removed Antarctica

You may have noticed that Antarctica was not included in the survey and was removed altogether from the World Map®. Maybe Antarctica it's better that way; as ignorance driving exclusion hurts, but it's the total saturation of arrogance and slimy irreverence that makes such ham-fisted indifference possible.

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