The benefits of job sharing in marketing for mothers

The benefits of job sharing in marketing for mothers

Podcast: part-time jobs, flexible jobs, remote jobs, companies offering remote, job share jobs, marketing jobs, public relations jobs
Industry: marketing, public relations, communications

Let's kick imposter syndrom's ass. That is precisely what Claire Ferreira is on mission to achieve with her growing community of mothers working in marketing. Mums in Marketing helps mothers in the marketing industry by providing resources and advice to help them succeed in returning to work and managing their career. In this podcast episode we discuss the challenges working moms are facing in the marketing industry and what can be done about it.

In this podcast episode of Talk Roleshare we cover the following:

+ Claire Ferreira is the founder of Mums in Marketing, a community that supports mothers who work in marketing.

+ She started the community because she struggled to find support when she became a mother and was working in marketing. 

+ Some of the challenges faced by working mothers in marketing include having the time to do it all, lack of flexibility and imposter syndrome. 

+ Job sharing in marketing is one way to help alleviate some of these challenges.

+ Having a job share partner is confidence-boosting and helps with the transition and return to work after time off. 


Claire Ferreira: Marketing sits at a really interesting place within an organization, and we are connected to all elements. We talk to finance, we are talking to sales. We are right there at the intersection I think I wanted it described as of business. And of course that means. Whenever, or if ever there are change in priorities, challenges, growth, that will then impact directly on marketers. And I think one of the greatest challenges, and I can only speak from my own personal experience and then from what I see in the incredible community at Mums in marketing and the incredible MiMs and one of the greatest challenges is time.

Having the time to do it all.

Sophie Smallwood: Yeah, absolutely. Now, I would say most moms would be able to say that's a common challenge, just not having enough time to do everything. But I myself started my career in marketing and advocacy and the very first time that I came across and was inspired. To think about new ways of working was because of a woman who was a director of media buying at a huge advertising agency in Los Angeles.

She was a mom of twins and she was also a board member to this charity and was again, this media buyer, like director. And I remember thinking, how in the world are you doing this in marketing? Cause I have no life and I market. Though I agree with you time to do it all, but why is marketing such a tough industry when it comes to balance and, trying to strike that perfect je ne sais quoi of equilibrium.

Claire Ferreira: Did you ever find out how that lady was doing it? I'm intrigued on that now. ?

Sophie Smallwood: Yes. Yes. She said, I'm very lucky. I share my job. And frankly, that was the very first time I come across this concept of job sharing. But I got why.

From a marketing perspective, my experience was that the day started early and they ended up really late, and it was a lot of deadline driven work and client driven work and things that were beyond my control. Yeah. When you are servicing others, you don't have as much control over your schedule, and I understood why she, in essence, was able to sustain the demands of the role in a job share.

Claire Ferreira: I love that you had that experience with that lady who then inspired you to go on and do what you do. In the professional environment we have deadlines, we have strategy and we are looking at the data, we're also looking ahead at deadlines. So it's relentless. You go from one straight into the next. But on the flip side, quite often that's why we love it. So we may have come into the industry and not for all, but we may have come into the industry before having families.

And I talk about this. And say that before having my kids, like I absolutely, my work was everything. I loved it. And the hours were not an issue because it was more than work to me. And then there's the transition of becoming a mother and trying to figure out how you can continue to do work that you love so deeply, for our whole creative family, so that might be design, it could be pr.

And when you go through that transition and you are in love with what you do that has to be another part of the cake. When you are leaving your most important human, so you're figuring out how that all looks, the word absolutely should, as you've identified Sophie, inspire you, push that momentum on with.

You've either been up all night with a sick child, or your older child is looking for answers on very big questions. The work that we do is about creating emotion, which means that we don't disconnect from it.

We really care. So the idea of going in and thinking that's it. I finish now and I just won't think about it. Is so misplaced. We are the ones who are thinking about it at home. Whilst we can try and almost have the office hours approach, it is so much more fluid. And that's what really interests me about Roleshare is the ability to change the shape of it.

Sophie Smallwood: I saw a study recently that was published by the Office of National Statistics focusing on various occupations, and when you look at marketing and advertising employees by gender, it skews a bit more male, so it's about 60/ 40 men versus women.

And then when you look at director levels, so progressing, you start to see men it's about, north of 70% and then women are short of 30%. So you see a huge gender seniority gaps in marketing. When I started my career in marketing and advertising when I was in my twenties, it felt so. It felt at the time like, oh, there is almost as many men and women.

But then to see such a divergence, the moment you get to the seniority levels such a loss.

Claire Ferreira: I'm interested there, Sophie, in, when you talk about when you entered into the profession , do you think there's an element of, more of your peers.

And so the measurement, that feeling of that equality, that well balanced, was that at a point potentially, do you think before women were having some, not all, were having children.

Sophie Smallwood: Yeah. Again, certainly. There's truth there. And in that same study, it validates it because if you look at marketing and advertising employees by age group, between the ages of 25 to 34, there's almost more women than there are men.

And then from the age of 35 to 54 you start to see that women then are outnumbered by men. Yeah. So a hundred percent. So you start your career, as you said, there's more women in marketing and then, they either drop out or they maybe don't even join marketing at that point.

Claire Ferreira: I think that what can happen that may not be showing up in that study, which hopefully is another interesting piece of the cake is Women may leave to go self-employed because industry is not necessarily giving them the flexibility that families would like.

I don't want to put that on women. Definitely not. And my own personal experience as well, and this is the added element, is socially we've changed. I talk about we don't have family near by and my husband's from overseas. My family live all over the place. Okay, we are dependent on childcare.

We are dependent on us as a unit. I have a husband and for all families look different. That is not the case for everyone. It really is like division of the times that your eyes are awake.

And Yeah, it's much harder when you don't have that family network and support. Another reason why flexible working

Sophie Smallwood: is so important, right. In this ever growing, evolving, melting pot of a world.

Claire Ferreira: Absolutely. So I was thinking about this recently and I'm the generation that was introduced to the idea of, that having it all. But what I'm really loving now is that there is a change around so that can happen. Of course I'm gonna say mums and marketing. Incredible women. Smart, intelligent, depth of insight, depth of knowledge. And by keeping those women in industry, you have all of this learning, all of this understanding, this huge kind of, movement around really being human and bringing that into industry.

And as marketers, this feels like such an exciting time because we are representative of consumers who we are marketing top.

Sophie Smallwood: Now let me ask you a little bit more about moms and marketing. So what inspired you to start the community and what's going on there? What's go, what's going on in the community?

Claire Ferreira: Oh, whenever, I always start talking with a big heartfelt sigh when I talk about mumsy marketing because it literally just fills my heart. So Mums in marketing was founded from my own experiences. Absolutely passionate, loved what I did. And then when I had children it was, that critical point of figuring out how does this look? How does this work? The feelings of imposter syndrome became very real for me trying to fit it all in. Overworking. Because there was nowhere else I could just check in.

I couldn't talk about it. And I very much felt like I was wearing a mask. That I'd been seen as very confident and I'd been very confident in my previous roles. I, I love what I do. I've been very lucky to work in incredible cultures and be successful with that. But then trying to figure it out, quite frankly was a mess on a personal level and it led to me having panic attacks.

I couldn't work and then I took a job that I was just not right for on both sides. I did not have the skills that they were looking for. They didn't have time to maybe take the time to understand that. And I lost my job. They fired me.

And it was a real worrying time. We'd just moved, we'd taken on added an expenses, and this happens every day all over the world. It was that moment where it was like, God, what happens now? And I just, it's because it had been so turbulent and when I'd been looking around and couldn't see where I could talk about the work that I love and my parenting journey, and so I just decided to go for it and it was petrifying, so frightening to put myself out there and say I'm not as confident as you think and this is how I'm feeling.

But I am so privileged and blessed that, we're now thousands joined and we are a free community that is very much about supporting each other within the industry we love, but on the whole parenting journey and we say we kick imposter syndrome's ass and that very much is about coming together, building confidence.

And being ourselves, recognizing that the work you do is important, but, raising humans is probably gonna win.

Sophie Smallwood: When I was at Meta, and I came back from mat leave. The things they did that I recall, at the time, one was keeping in touch days and I took advantage of all of that.

I loved keeping in touch days and going in on retreats so that I could get a summary of what was happening with the business. See everyone from around the world. That was good. And then when I came back they had this mentor program of other moms who had back previously who had gone through that return journey. I took the full year. If I could have come back to work sooner, so after six months on a job share capacity where I could have been involved in work maybe two or three days a week, but then had a nice four day to really be in almost like a continuation of my maternity leave.

For me personally, that would've helped me with my transition going back and scaling back up to full time. But what are you seeing out there as effective ways to bring women back into work?

Claire Ferreira: It is such an individual journey. What works for one mother or family is different to another. And what comes into that is all the other elements that we talked about.

What's your family support, your childcare, there is so much around that. One thing that we have talked about is the element of communication. Organizations they change when you are off for a year, different people are in place, teams have change shape. Businesses have changed direction. So I think communication is important, but I think the most important element is to ask what works and also to have the flexibility on that. And that's the beauty of Roleshare. Not having to come straight back, for me would've just been an absolute dream. And I remember going for a job before I got the one that led to mums in marketing and being told straight out by the recruiter that there was no chance of either part-time or any kind of flexibility.

And when I think back to that time, I would've been perfect for that. And that was a missed opportunity. So what you guys are doing is fantastic because you are keeping that level of talent within the industry.

Sophie Smallwood: A hundred percent.

And I think from a confidence perspective, one of the things we hear from people who have job shared, is having a partner when you're coming back into a space where it felt so natural before and now you're coming back, the whole ecosystem, the teams everything's could have potentially changed. Having that partner is actually ,a confidence boosting mechanism.

You've got this ally that helps with that transition. Not even just splitting the work week and having that head space, but that support system is powerful. So it's wonderful to hear that you've got this community to support women in marketing. And just before we end our conversation, I'm curious, if you could share your perfect marketing job today, what kind of person do you think would make for a good ally for you?

Claire Ferreira: I would say complimentary skills as opposed to an absolute mirror of what I would bring. I work alongside women in mums in marketing who can drill right down into the detail because in terms of big picture and vision, that is where I sit. I am so lucky to work with women who bring that real deep level of detail, which means it gets done. Mums in marketing is a growing organization, achieving big things. We're award winning and we are bringing the opportunities into business now to support returners. When I was looking on who I would work with, it absolutely was never gonna be a mirror of my own skills.

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