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

Perspectives: Mothers In Advertising

How would you describe the culture at your agency? And does that culture compliment the juggling act of being a working mother?
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.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother?
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.
Has being a mother enabled you to be better at your job; and how?
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.
What advice would you give to other mothers who are trying to find the right work and life balance?
Don’t expect to be able to do it all. None of us can, with or without kids.
What changes do you hope to see for future working parents?
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.