We’re currently in the process of looking for speakers for our next event on the theme of Work/Money. The second of three sub-themes we want to explore for this event is the interplay and influence of Work, Money, and Identity.
Who we are and how we appear in the world can greatly influence the opportunities for work and money that are available to us. What we do for a living and how much money we make can also influence how the world perceives us and what we think of ourselves.
On a societal level, rich business people often get celebrated as leaders and role models no matter how much societal harm may stem from their products or business practices. Our society also tends to look down on people with less money as being lazy and of low moral character, even though that person might be working just as hard or contribute to their community and family in other ways.
Many aspects of our Work/Money landscape are also stratified by race and gender. People of color tend to get paid less than their white counterparts, have access to fewer opportunities, and can struggle to fit into a predominantly white workforce. Men are generally paid more money than women for similar work and often hold more positions of power in the workforce than women. Many career paths are gender biased, with lower paying careers more often ascribed to women, including much of the mental, physical, and emotional labor of maintaining a home, which typically pays nothing at all.
We also attach much of our personal value and meaning in our lives to the work that we do. It can be very easy for us to see ourselves as an extension of our jobs and judge our own character by the amount of money we make. We get introduced to each other by the roles we play at work, and self identify with the career paths we find ourselves on. Some companies work hard to instill a team spirit and camaraderie amongst their employees, but this can also lead to employees feeling implicitly or explicitly pressured to take on a company branded identity.
What identities have we created in our world around work and money? Are they just, equitable, or even honest? What biases do we hold? What could be the pros and cons of defying the biases, constraints, or expectations of our identities around work and money? What new identities would we create for ourselves around work and money if given the choice?
If you think you have a story for this theme we’d love to hear from you. The link to the speaker submission form is below. Please share this with anybody else whom you feel would be a good speaker too.