Patricia Dunn, the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chairwoman who authorized a boardroom surveillance probe that ultimately sullied her remarkable rise from investment bank typist to the corporate upper class, has died. She died of ovarian cancer at age 58.
Known as “Pattie,” Dunn repeatedly made Fortune magazine’s list of the most powerful women in business in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as co-chief executive officer of Barclays Global Investors, a unit of Barclays Plc. She stepped down as CEO in June 2002 to be treated for breast cancer and melanoma.I admired the woman and I did not know the life struggles she had even when she was young.
Dunn's life had been far from charmed.
Financial difficulties dogged her family throughout her childhood, and her father, a vaudeville actor, died of a heart attack before she was a teen. After the death, the family moved to Marin County, north of San Francisco, and her mother's emotional health deteriorated.
Dunn's mother later died of breast cancer.
To my disappointment, some of these women I admired were "tubog sa ginto". Kung baga, they were just costume jewelries. There was this article about a woman who became a President of a bank. Only after a few years did I learn that she was a mistress of a very rich and powerful man who gave that bank as a gift. OO nga naman, imagine, bookkkeeper lang siya, biglang lumuksong Presidente. Then I read about a separated woman who was popular in the stock market. I found out that her father was once active in the same business. Meron na siyang reputasyon. And other stories about heiress who became CEOs because they inherited the companies and not because they rose from the ranks.
Personally, I met some women who would not hesitate to drop the skirt in exchange of advancement in ranks, salaries and benefits. Some were young; some were already in their mid 40s.
It is not only true in the corporate world. Even in the academe, morals are sidelined in exchange for positions. There was this woman who was beautiful. Mukhang artista and she was an AD of a department. Pero sa totoo lang, walang laman. Parang pan de sal na pag pinisil mo, matutupi. Then one day, my classmates and I were waiting for our group who were scheduled to go to a province for our tree planting
project. Sus, kita namin, magkahawak kamay pa, si Vice-President at si AD. Si VP ay nasa liyebo 60 na samantalang si AD ay nasa 45 na siguro--walang sukli. Hindi namin alam kung ano na ang nangyari dahil parehong nawala yong dalawa sa university. Sabi ng mga kaklase ko, nagtanan siguro. (guffaw)
Meron akong kaibigan, presidente talaga ang kaniyang lover. Subali't datapwa't wala talagang ibubuga kaya hindi siya mabigyan ng position. Isinasama-sama lang sa akin noon para matuto. Wala rin.
When I migrated to the US, kinalimutan ko na ang aking dream--that is to climb the ladder. Mahirap umakyat lalo pag minority ka. I tried to be as friendly as possible, teaching those who did not know what their job descriptions were. I was often rejected. Some suspected that I was just trying to show off. I worked hard; staying past the closing time. Many employees did not like it. Instead of giving me a pat in my shoulder, the director, asked me to go home the moment the clock strikes 5:00.
There was a time when I presented a recommendation to the President regarding the systems to avoid loss of money in transit.
The Director to whom I submitted the proposal was very accommodating, praising me to high heavens. I was waiting for the President to call me. No calls. One day, I went over the papers that would be shredded. There it was. Hindi nakarating sa itaas. From then on, I did not give my best in the job. I punched in, punched out and went home early to watch TV. Work habits don't die but dreams do. And the life could be cruel to women aspiring for a place in the world.