Advertising Week in New York City kicked off its final day Thursday with one of the more tone-deaf, delusional discussions on the great value of having moms in leadership roles.
Motherhood at work is a worthy matter to address, but the actual conversation revealed an uncomfortable truth about Advertising Week in general. The vast majority of these presentations are either self-promotional or entirely non-relatable to the average attendee.
The Boss Moms discussion, to that end, featured four women panelists who all openly discussed their marriages and supportive spouses as they balance their high-flying careers with motherhood.
Topics not discussed in depth: nannies, maid/cleaning assistance, and how their affluent lifestyles enable them to circumvent many common childcare obstacles.
There were a few worthwhile nuggets during the 50 minute chat such as the suggestion that motherhood is more about time management and delegation, although that broadly applies to many workers, not just mom bosses.
Another point made at the session: Advertisers absolutely need to do a better job of reflecting reality in their messaging and avoid stereotypical portrayals of both moms and dads.
On one level there is a unfounded perception about professional women, says Monique Nelson, Chair/CEO, UWG. Male bosses in particular think they know how women should live their lives. She mentioned how a former supervisor dismissed one potential mom colleague for a position that required 50% travel. “Eh, I think she probably already discussed the matter with her family and determined it was not a problem,” says Nelson. "Leave that to us. We know what we are doing."