Rebecca Batterman offers a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Adweek and a portion of it follows:

When RBG entered law school in 1956, women made up 3% of the legal profession in the US. As Ginsburg shared in a 2016 opinion piece for The New York Times: “Today about half the nation’s law students and more than one-third of our federal judges are women. … Women hold more than 30 percent of law school deanships in the United States and serve as general counsel to 24 percent of Fortune 500 companies. In my long life, I have seen great changes.”

At the same time RBG entered law school, the marketing/advertising industry was male dominated a la the Mad Men era. Women’s roles were limited to secretarial support. RBG’s work was dedicated to helping men understand that sexism hurts them too and that “women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” Given that women lead consumer purchasing decisions, having them at the table to develop consumer marketing seems obvious, but prior to RBG, was not the case.

As marketers, we are storytellers and our role is to tell stories that have happened, that are happening, but also tell stories of what can happen. We have the opportunities to craft a future and introduce new concepts, new norms to society. We have a significant role in creating new realities. A social responsibility exists that is not limited just to those that take an oath of office or who have committed their careers to law. As marketers, we also have an opportunity to use our voices for good, for impact, for change. RBG has shown us how one person can make a difference and an enduring societal impact.

Marketing creates culture, culture creates change, change creates new laws, which in turn creates new norms. It wasn’t long ago that marketing and media depicted couples, family and gender roles within a certain mold. Now, we frequently see commercials, ads and shows with interracial and same-sex couples and nonbinary individuals. As marketers, we can—and should—introduce innovation that can break barriers across product, messaging, content and engagement.

We are changemakers. As the media and marketing line between what’s real and what isn’t gets more and more narrow, marketers have an opportunity to create significant and long-lasting impact. As RBG famously said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” Taking a page from her book, how will you apply your creative and strategic marketing powers to represent brand innovation and influence?

More here.

Photo: Los Angeles Times


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