Perspectives: Mothers In Advertising: Andrea Nirsimloo, VP at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment.

To celebrate Mother’s Day, AdForum sat down with a series of mothers to hear first hand what it is like to be a working mother in the advertising industry.

by Sarah Cullen , Adforum

To celebrate Mother’s Day, AdForum sat down with a series of mothers to hear first hand what it is like to be a working mother in the advertising industry. We would like to thank Andrea Nirsimloo, VP at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment for taking part in this interview series.

By Sarah Cullen  


Perspectives: Mothers In Advertising

How would you describe the culture at your agency?
The culture at my agency is excellent – this has always been the case, for both parents and those without kids. We are all friends as well as coworkers and I feel completely supported as a working mother, and have never felt judged when I leave at 5. It 100% compliments the juggling act of being a working parent.
What advice would you give to other mothers who are trying to find the right work and life balance?
It's going to be a crazy juggling act and you are always going to feel guilty – either about your home life or about work. Remember that no one is perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect working parent life balance; just try to do your best in each area and don’t compare yourself to your peers, coworkers, and especially not to people on Instagram!!
What changes do you hope to see for future working parents?
I’ve been lucky in that my company has allowed me to be flexible since having my son. I am physically in the office less and am able to work from home when my son is sick. However, I know it's very different for many working mothers and think that all employers need to be more open to flexible working practices when it comes to parents, especially in the early days.

I’m from the UK where the majority of my friends have taken a year off on maternity leave, six months of it at full pay. I had 12 weeks here and my friends back home were aghast at that. And I know I’m lucky to get that – there was a woman in my Lamaze class who got a week off! So I think that companies should think about the benefits of giving parents longer off work – people will return to work more focused, less stressed and guilty and ultimately feel better about the ocmpay they work for, and likely remain there longer as loyal employees, because they have been treated well.

Also, the system for claiming disability allowance was incredibly complex and involves a lot of paperwork that you just shouldn't have to deal with right after having a baby.

The WORST thing here is that when you have a baby you have to claim DISABILITY allowance. This is crazy. Having a baby is the most powerful thing any human can do and yet it’s reduced to a ‘disability; which I found mind-blowing.
Has being a mother changed how you approach any aspects of your job; how?
I am definitely more efficient now. Beforei had my son I was always one of the first in the office and one of the last to leave. Now, that has changed and my hours in the office are dramtically reduced because I need to be able to drop off and pick up my son from daycare. So when I’m working, I’m extremely focused and efficient with my time because I have finite hours in the office. Once my son is asleep I open up my laptop again and try to get ahead for the next day.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother?
I have a very fulfilled life at home and also at work and both these areas compliment one another. The best part of my day is getting home from work and spending time with my family. I have that to look forward to all day which drives me to work harder. Also, I want my son to grow up feeling proud that his mother is successful, and hopefully especially so since I work in sports!