If you have turned on the TV or gotten online this weekend you know the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday. You may think this is too divisive and sensitive (or irrelevant) of a topic to bring up in the Marketing Nation Community, but whether you agree with the decision or not, it brings up some topics pertinent to ‘Women in Business’ and the barriers, as well as progress, that have been made over the past century and a half.

 

Don’t misinterpret this as me saying the tumultuous path to marriage equality is synonymous with the inequalities of women in the workplace, but, at their core, they are both struggles for equality. Women’s equality, starting with suffrage has been an issue for over 150 years whereas the debate of same-sex marriage has been around for almost 50 years. Regardless of the issue, they are emotionally charged in different ways.

 

These civil rights movements and Marketing Nation Community share a foundation rooted in passion and motivation.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo said, “If you can find something that you're really passionate about, whether you're a man or a woman comes a lot less into play. Passion is a gender-neutralizing force.”

 

What motivates you to log into the Marketo Community each day? Are you passionate about marketing? Or is it your passion for wanting to be better at your job or is it to help others? I’d say these are all reasons over 12K of our customers are active participants each month. I see this demonstrated by the camaraderie, bond and community (in the social sense) I witness at the Marketing Nation Summit each year.

 

If I had to guess, another key driver for participation in Community is to get involved (with a side of curiosity or even FOMO). As your Community Manager it is my job to create a vibrant online space for our customers to become better marketers and make them successful. It is also important (dare I say, a passion) to me to make sure our customers have the opportunity to get involved in conversations and programs that they are passionate about. Still, nothing is more valuable than the network Community provides to practioners to learn from one another.

So what is the point of bringing up emotionally and politically charged issues like these? Because the Marketing Nation’s purpose is much bigger than driving the professional success of our customers. It’s about creating a supportive environment to instigate change and make a tangible difference, in this case for women in technology—even if the change is small.

So in the spirit of change, of movement and of progress, here are 4 lessons from the path activists and supporters took toward winning marriage equality that we can incorporate into our organizations to make strides toward equality for women in the workplace:

 

  • Get people emotionally involved in a cause.
    • Why? Movements like gay marriage & women’s rights have huge Champions that everyone can relate to - Love & Equality.

 

  • Value and celebrate incremental change.
    • Why? The states that adopted marriage equality before it was law at a federal level were all little wins that have contributed to this bigger win, as did President Kennedy’s appointment of Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1961.

 

  • Don’t give up.
    • Why? It took five years of lobbying by a stalwart city employee before the city of Berkeley, CA enacted the nation's first domestic partnership ordinance in 1984. This is just on example of the tireless efforts that have contributed to today’s news.

 

  • Realize that all types of freedom and equality are valuable to everyone.
    • Why? Women’s progress benefits everyone as does having a society that treats its citizens as equal before the law.

 

So I leave you with this: How can you include these lessons in your daily life, and practice them in the workplace? I’d love to hear what you think and how they work.