Elitism in the workplace: You can’t deny it


Photo by Darien Funk

I have recently noticed how prominent elitism is in our workplace, and honestly, just in life in general. 

According to Wikipedia, elitism is defined as “the belief or notion that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people perceived as having an intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, special skills, or experience—are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others.” 

An easier way to explain this concept is those in power — whether it be through money or their network of the workplace and/or family-based connections — end up believing they are above everyone else, and end up at the top, despite their intentions or true personality.

I see it every day. 

An example of this can be seen when you’re trying to find a summer job. Those people who may have connections, a family business, or have vast amounts of money will end up getting the position. That same person could talk negatively about their company, swear or, be a rude person, yet when it comes down to who gets to sit in the office chair, it’s them. 

It’s them because of their money, or because their parent knows someone. It’s so frustrating and saddening. Maybe someone applied to that same job, with many years of experience, a kind and overall perfect person for the job, but unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. It’s unfair. And so, the negative person with no experience gets the job.

Another example can be seen in regards to education. Someone who applies to a job with a high school diploma versus someone who got their Ph.D. in chemistry may not be viewed the same way. 

However, the candidate who has their high school diploma has more experience and certifications than the candidate who has their Ph.D. But, since the company only has people with a university education, elitism is present, as the person with the high school diploma is regarded as “lower” on the social scale. 

The result is that the person with less experience but a higher level of education obtains the position. The moral of the story is that the world does not work the way we think it will. Elitism is another aspect that Human Resources has to pay a close eye to. It is serious!

I hadn’t really noticed it until recently, so I think this is an important read for anyone. Becoming aware of the bad things happening around you can help to avoid such situations. 
But as the title states—you: you cannot deny it, professional elitism is prominent in our world.

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