Will Big Companies Ever Change?

Being involved and on the ground floor of the tech industry in the mid-’90s was exciting. There was a lot to be excited about, from how our lives would change with efficiencies to my hope that these companies would do the right thing for their employees. That they would create different environments that would not look like corporate America. The woman would be treated equally.

My most significant experience with corporate America was working at Macy’s. I felt like I was making an impact in the company, but as time passed, the culture of power that I was privy to was not pretty. Bureaucracy is never a good look.

I had hoped that the big tech companies would change all that. That people would be respected, that they would be paid appropriately, that they would get full-health care without having to pay a dime for it, and that they would allow people to shine in their lanes.

Now many of them have lobbyists, are fighting off unions, and are figuring out ways to pay zero taxes. They build products where labor is cheap, and laws are lax. Maybe I would do the same thing if I were at that level, but I do not believe I would. I am just as much a capitalist as the next person, but I also have a bit of socialism tossed in.

As we grow Gotham, I have been thinking about this as we grow our company. Our team is highly entrepreneurial, and we all contribute to growth, growth, and growth in an innovative, scrappy way. Everyone is also socially responsible. We try to be environmentally conscious. We think through how we acknowledge each other’s gender and celebrate that. We fully pay for everyone’s health care, period. We educate everyone on the company’s products. We are transparent about what we are hoping to build. We give back a large part of our profits to a non-profit, and that will continue as we grow. I hope everyone does exceptionally well financially and enjoys coming to work with their peers. I expect everyone to respect each other.

That sounds like a big ask, but I am trying to make that work. Can that work in all our companies, or am I just being unrealistic and naive?