How to influence or become LGBTQ leadership
There aren’t enough LGBTQ business leaders today, and that must change for universal equality and growth. Hear how to influence and become LGBTQ leadership in business today.
Hear one example of LGBTQ leadership in action
On this Queer Money®, we talk with Betsy Codding, the Social Media Manager for MassMutual and a key player in producing MassMutual’s beautiful and powerful “Vow to Protect” video campaign.
“Vow to Protect” was a big investment and a bold statement of support for the LGBT community and same-sex marriage, even for a company historically supporting our community. We’ve worked for Fortune 500 companies that support LGBT issues cautiously, at best, even while annually ranking on Human Rights Campaigns’ Corporate Equality Index.
Betsy shares the evolution of “Vow to Protect” from getting business leaders on board to public relations preparation to filming.
Hear how Codding became part of the LGBTQ leadership:
What’s ‘Vow to Protect’?
MassMutual has been a longstanding supporter of the LGBT community. In 2011, MassMutual was a “first responder” signatory of an amicus brief in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In November 2015, MassMutual launched its “Vow to Protect” campaign to support LGBT families and marriage equality by debuting a series of videos by the award-winning documentary director Stacy Peralta, director of Dogtown and Z-Boys and Crips and Bloods.
Who’s Betsy Codding?
After graduating college, Betsy Codding wound up in San Francisco during the first dot com boom. Originally having started her career working in museums, Betsy was pulled into a career in websites and web development. Betsy then got her MBA in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers University and later joined MassMutual in 2014.
LGBTQ leadership needs in business
Are you the next LGBTQ business leader?
In the response – some very happy, some very angry – to the Supreme Court of the United States making marriage equality the law of this land, some companies played it safe. Some stood out.
A company can lose a lot of support and revenue by supporting “controversial causes” such as marriage equality. There are boycotts and negative PR. In some cases, there are threats to safety.
In November 2015, just months after marriage equality passed, MassMutual decided to stand out boldly with its ‘Vow to Protect’ commercial in support of marriage equality and the LGBTQ community.
Betsy Codding of MassMutual was integral in the beautiful and powerful ‘Vow to Protect’ inspiration, creation, and production.
‘Vow to Protect’ was a costly investment (possible gamble) and a bold statement of support for the LGBTQ community and same-sex marriage, even for a company that historically supports our community.
We, personally, have worked for Fortune 500 companies that cautiously support LGBTQ issues and earn 100s on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, yet funnel millions of dollars to politicians and causes that work to take away LGBTQ rights. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are thrown a bone of $500 a year for our advocacy of our employers as employers of choice for LGBTQ workers, while the company and many of its straight, white, male leaders fund discriminatory LGBTQ politicians and organizations.
MassMutual is different. It has been a longstanding supporter of the LGBT community. In 2011, MassMutual was a “first responder” signatory of an amicus brief in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In November 2015, MassMutual launched its Vow to Protect’ campaign in support of LGBTQ families by debuting a series of videos by the award-winning documentary director, Stacy Peralta, director of Dogtown and Z-Boys and Crips and Bloods.
Betsy shares the evolution of “Vow to Protect” from getting business leaders on board to public relations preparation to filming. What Betsy shares in episode 23 of the Queer Money® podcast is what all aspiring LGBTQ business leaders should know to lead their respective companies on the right side of history.
Betsy shared how the conversation for such a bold statement started internally in smaller pockets within MassMutual. She shares the process of how it quickly became a company-wide initiative supported from the top down.
While most employees at MassMutual were on board, there was a debate over what to say and how to say it. Betsy shares how big MassMutual’s communication strategy to ensure all employees, agents, and business partners were prepared. This included a proactive plan created by MassMutual’s PR company in case there was public backlash, which nicely . . . surprisingly there wasn’t.
Betsy shares so much more about how she led MassMutual in this bold and important direction. She also shares why her heart was in it, which is why most of our hearts are in support of visibility and equality in both our personal lives and our business lives.
Listen to episode 23 of the Queer Money® podcast for more great insight on Betsy’s success with MassMutual.
Watch us share more insights on real LGBTQ leadership in business:
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We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys (www.debtfreeguys.com), and the Queer Money® podcast hosts. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.