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 

Leslie Starr

Q: How would you describe the culture at your agency? And does that culture compliment the juggling act of being a working mother?
Leslie Starr: 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.
Q: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother?
Leslie Starr: I can PROVIDE for my family and still pursue what I LOVE to do.
Q: Has being a mother enabled you to be better at your job; and how?
Leslie Starr: ABSOLUTELY- it has changed the way I stay collected in stressful situations, how I manage, how I lead, prioritize, and build relationships, etc.
Q: What advice would you give to other mothers who are trying to find the right work and life balance?
Leslie Starr: 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
Q: What changes do you hope to see for future working parents?
Leslie Starr: 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.