Perspectives: Mothers In Advertising: Kat Shafer, Managing Director at EP+Co.

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.

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 Kat Shafer, Managing Director at EP+Co for taking part in this interview series.  

By Sarah Cullen

Kat Shafer
Kat Shafer
Managing Director EP+Co

Q: How would you describe the culture at your agency? And does that culture compliment the juggling act of being a working mother?
Kat Shafer: At EP + Co we have an incredible culture for working parents. (As mentioned above,) I am lucky to be surrounded by a leadership team of parents and that allows for an enormous appreciation and recognition of the issues that come when you are a working parent. Our primary-caregiver policy is incredibly generous, we have flex hours to help juggle the demands of parenting and we have a host of perks and benefits like Care.com credits to help with babysitting, cleaning, and meal preparation. I realize how fortunate I am to work at such a forward-thinking company, and to love what I do at the same time. A lot of people think the Ad industry is a churn-and-burn business, and it can be, but at EP+Co we have a wonderful balance and respect for family life.
Q: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother?
Kat Shafer: My husband. I am fortunate enough to have a husband who is truly an equal partner in parenting. And I love knowing that when I’m home late or traveling, that my girls are seeing their daddy take the primary role in parenting, it doesn’t always have to be mommy – I know that when they grow up, they will expect the same out of their partner and that makes me proud. Not to mention, I have the biggest reward waiting for me every time I walk in the door – two of the biggest smiles and hugs you’ve ever received.
Q: Has being a mother enabled you to be better at your job; and how?
Kat Shafer: The honest answer here is yes and no. I have been told I am much more compassionate now, but also I’m efficient to a fault. I want to get in, get it done and get out so I can get home to those kiddos. Gone are the days (for now) where I get to sit around and have a drink after work with a colleague, now I have to find new, creative ways to get to know them on a more personal level.
Q: What advice would you give to other mothers who are trying to find the right work and life balance?
Kat Shafer: Don’t expect to be able to do it all. None of us can, with or without kids.
Q: What changes do you hope to see for future working parents?
Kat Shafer: Until you are one, it’s hard to truly understand the pain points and challenges of being a working mom. What I would like to see is the elimination of guilt that working parents put on themselves.

End of the Interview

Kat Shafer
Kat Shafer
Managing Director EP+Co