At a time of such global fragility, with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-rapid effects of climate change and the imminent US presidential election (to name a few), the tragic announcement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has reinforced the importance of continuing her pursuit of equality and integrity and preserving her precious human-led legacy.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an extraordinary person. She was a feminist icon, a champion of gender and race equality, trailblazer for women’s rights, and the second female Justice of the US Supreme Court. She wasn’t afraid of controversial issues, in fact she dedicated her life to breaking social stigma and systemic barriers.
Ginsburg was born in 1933 at a time of extreme female oppression, into a Jewish, low income, working class background in Brooklyn. Her mother was an influential role model in her life, even though she passed away when Ginsburg was only a teenager.
“My mother’s advice was, don’t lose time on useless emotions like anger, resentment, remorse, envy. Those, she said, will just sap time; they don’t get you where you want to be”
Ginsburg entered Columbia law school in New York City in 1956, at a time when women accounted for less than 3% of the legal profession in the US. In 1959 she graduated 1st in her class. She was one of 8 women amongst over 500 students.
Despite her numerous academic achievements, Ginsburg faced gender discrimination in her search for employment. However, this did not deter her. She taught at Rutgers University Law School and Columbia, she served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and the US Court of Appeals. Then finally in 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the US supreme court. Becoming the second woman to ever serve on the highest court in the US.
Ginsburg was one of the most powerful leaders, she led with empathy and was driven by purpose. Her purpose led approachdismantled discrimination, broke down barriers, bridged divides, gave a voice and courage to the most vulnerable people and created a culture where people followed her in her pursuit of equality.
A Ginsburg quote that really resonated with me was:
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
A purpose-led approach is crucial not only to the health and culture of an organisation but also to every person working within an organisation. Now more than ever we have a social, economic and environmental responsibility.
The World Economic Forum outlines how purpose is fundamental to any organisation, click here to see their framework.
Companies with a high level of purpose outperform the market by 5-7%, grow faster, are more profitable and see higher percentages of employee retention, motivation and wellbeing. At Glassmoon we believe the key to providing purpose is to create workplaces that are deeply human and give people the flexibilitythey need to thrive and grow.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has empowered and inspired millions of people and will continue to inspire the generations to come with her legal, political and cultural legacy.
She has changed the world – we want to change the workplace
To discuss how we can support you and your organisation please click here.