Senator Elizabeth Warren recently published a piece in which she argued for the importance of equal pay. She began by saying, “I honestly can’t believe that we’re still arguing over equal pay in 2014.”
But are we really arguing about it? It seems like most people of sound mind are for equal pay, though they may disagree on how best to legislate it.
And that’s the problem. This inequality runs deep in our culture – deeper than just a male-biased culture that refuses to pay women fairly -- and the issue has proven difficult to enforce. Warren has placed a great deal of optimism in the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make salary practices more transparent and force companies to prove that pay discrepancies are due to performance or merit and not sex.
Maybe the Act will pass and make a difference. Maybe it won’t. But there is a bigger point that many are missing:
Equal pay won’t be the most pressing issue facing women in the workplace in the coming years.
This year, we’re lucky enough to be celebrating Nebo’s 10th anniversary. Adam and I are incredibly proud, but we’re not the ones you should be congratulating.
Let me explain.
Nebo was established in 2004 as a reaction against what we saw as the marketing industry’s deepest flaws. We started by taking a human-centered approach to marketing as well as treating clients, employees, and vendors the way we’d want to be treated. Culture would be our competitive advantage. We’d prioritize long-term strategy over short-term wins.
We didn’t know if we could make it. We definitely didn’t know if our approach would resonate. But we thought we were young enough to recover if we didn’t.
Flash forward 10 years and we’ve achieved more than we ever thought we could.
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The Jewel Wasp is perhaps the craziest parasite in nature, and it has a pretty interesting method of getting other bugs to do what it wants.
It actually enslaves cockroaches by stinging their brains and injecting a mind-controlling venom. According to Wired, “The wasp then leads the zombified roach by its antenna to a chamber, where it lays a single egg on its perfectly relaxed host and seals it inside with pebbles. Here, the larva bores into the cockroach and feeds off its organs before killing it and emerging from its corpse into the light of day.”
Unfortunately for designers and marketers, we possess no such venom. Even if we did, using it to get our users to take a desired action would be highly unethical. Not to mention highly illegal.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have tools at our disposal to influence behavior. We do. And the first one is gaining a comprehensive understanding of why people do what they do.
It’s no secret that, like many moms who work outside the home, there are times when my roles blur. How often have we made a quick call to the pediatrician’s office in between meetings? Or answered a work email while feeding dinner to our children? Living in a digital world has given us tremendous flexibility to multi-task and to be plugged in more often then ever.
But what has surprised me as I’ve learned to juggle these two demanding roles – digital marketing project manager and mom – is how many correlations exist between them. I’ve started to realize that it takes a specific set of core skills to be great at both.
Being a mother has been the most rewarding and difficult job I’ve ever had. Before my son was born, I felt so many emotions. Nearly six years later, I’m enjoying this wild ride, with so much still to learn.
So, in honor of this coming Mother’s Day, here are a few things I’ve learned about project management from building a relationship with my absolute neediest client… my five year old.