I Can Have It All: Anna Stevens, Program Director, Critical Mass

Critical Mass is super collaborative and engaging. It’s unique to work in an agency environment where everyone gets along at and outside of work.

 

Anna Stevens
Program Director Critical Mass
 

Tell us about yourself and your current role.

I am currently a Program Director and account lead on a telecommunications account. I work closely with clients and partners to realize business objectives, while driving a focus on customer experiences. I work on the account’s front lines to help create and execute digital strategies that solve customer problems—so bringing passion and motivation to my role is essential in solving problems and leading my teams every day.

What is the culture like at your agency?

Critical Mass is super collaborative and engaging. It’s unique to work in an agency environment where everyone gets along at and outside of work. The agency hosts tons of fun social events for employees throughout the year—including weekly beer o’clocks and annual CMMYs anniversary celebrations. 

How does that culture mesh with the juggling act that is being a working mother?

Pretty well! Most of the work activities and events are at the end of the day or over lunch which make it easy for me to participate. I obviously can’t attend all the after-work functions anymore, but I definitely try to make an effort to go to a few.

In what ways has being a mother changed how you approach certain aspects of your job?

I have had to learn how to delegate more and not sweat the small stuff. Having little humans who depend on my leaving work on time has definitely made me a more patient person, and I have had to really learn how to best manage my time and priorities.

What would you say are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother?

Juggling everything can be exhausting, but there are brief moments when everything at home and at work is actually working well and I have to do a little fist pump and remind myself that I can have it all! Working full-time and being a mom makes me feel like I am making a conscious contribution to my children’s work ethic and teaching them how to work hard.

What are the biggest challenges that you’ve dealt with?

Leaving work on time to meet daycare cut off and having dinner at home after work. Scrambled eggs are a life saver!

What steps do you take to ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance?

When I leave work and until the kids go to bed, I don’t look at my emails and focus all my attention on my family. If I have to work late, I stay at the office so I can focus on getting it done rather than trying to juggle at home and getting frustrated.

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Tell us a bit about it.

Launching FIAT in Canada. It was challenging and exciting working with launching a new brand in Canada, especially one that has such a following—one that so many people have a strong emotional connection to. We ran a fully integrated campaign and launch strategy, including selling the first 500 cars online in Canada!

Where do you see the possibility for change for future working parents?

Making sure there is both flexibility and support for parents in working environments is the positive change we need. I am lucky to work at a company that has both, which has 100% made it easier and has taken some of the stress away from transitioning back to work after maternity leave.

Who are some working mothers that you admire/look up to?

Any and all mothers, but especially my own. Until I had kids, I did not appreciate or understand how amazing and strong my mom is. How she got us ready for school, made us lunches, and had dinner ready everyday while working a full-time job is beyond me. I am blown away by how strong my mom is and how much she has done and sacrificed for us especially as a new immigrant to Canada who had a million more obstacles and challenges that I cannot even imagine.

I also think single moms are superheroes. I am so lucky to have an amazing and supportive husband and don’t know how I would do it without him. I am in complete awe of single moms and dads and the strength, patience and perseverance they have—they deserve all the riches!

What is your all-time favorite Mother’s Day campaign?  

I think this Mother’s Day Hugs commercial for Huggies Canada was the first commercial I saw after becoming a new mother and I was instantly crying! I have always had a soft spot for this ad, and I went to pick up my son for a hug after watching it this time.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVUmRIEam3w