Perspectives: Mothers In Advertising: Leslie Starr, Senior Director/Engagement Strategy Lead at Ogilvy

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 Leslie Starr, Senior Director/Engagement Strategy Lead at Ogilvy 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?
When I tell people that I'm a mother and work at an agency, they ask, 'how is that possible/how do you do it?.' What we do is serve our clients- so it can be difficult if you can't be always on. I would say that it is HARD to be in a services industry and be a juggling working mother and wife. But, I would also say that Ogilvy has an entrepreneurial culture and have always found that they are open to new ways of doing things. If you're a mother and you want to work in this space and you can figure out how it can work for both parties, they will work with you. This is why I have remained loyal to this organization.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother?
I can PROVIDE for my family and still pursue what I LOVE to do.
Has being a mother enabled you to be better at your job; and how?
ABSOLUTELY- it has changed the way I stay collected in stressful situations, how I manage, how I lead, prioritize, and build relationships, etc.
What advice would you give to other mothers who are trying to find the right work and life balance?
1. Find advocates that will support you in the organization; 2. Be proactive in coming up with creative options that work for you and the company to find your balance
What changes do you hope to see for future working parents?
OPTIONS- each parent and each family functions differently and what they need as support could be very different; mothers/fathers could be the bread-winners in a household, what options does an organization offer to support them? a parent assistant? child care at the office?... parents could be part-time; can the organization offer more flexibility on working remote or flexible on hours, the list goes on.