Working moms aren’t going anywhere, if we have anything to say about it.

March 19th, 2021

Have you seen the shocking 2018 study that reported the average mom who works full time outside of the home clocks in a total of 98 hours between her work responsibilities and parenting duties? Yikes.

Another statistic tells us how deeply impacted American mothers were by the 12+ month COVID-19 shutdowns, which caused nearly 3 million women to leave the workforce between 2020 and 2021 alone. 

In case you don’t know, these are historically high numbers. The reasons cited? Pay inequality, feeling undervalued and falling victim to antiquated notions of care giving.

Suffice to say, they have an incredible amount of pressure on them, as they juggle their many roles.

This information is not something Yamamoto takes lightly, which is why as an agency, we make it a priority to support parents through our policies and approaches.

And we’re always looking to progress what we are doing to ensure we’re creating space for parents and for our people in general.

To put our money where our mouth is (literally) on the issue of gender equality, we are proudly certified as a Minnesota Equal Pay employer.

Understanding and valuing the needs of working parents starts at the top.

No, this isn’t just corporate lip service. Our CEO, Kathy McCuskey, is a working mom and nearly everyone in leadership is a working parent, too.

Kathy says, "There is no day that’s truly balanced, but it’s incumbent upon all leaders to create an environment that embraces, not punishes, the needs of individuals and their families. We have found that making space by embracing, backing-up and empowering creates better work and is rewarded by loyalty. Because we are humans first. And our families, in fact, do matter more."

But what is it really like to be a new mother in an industry that’s notorious for long, late hours, employee burnout and high turnover?

We sat down with a few of the agency’s new moms to get their perspectives.

Overall, their feedback was positive.

One new mom said, “When I came back (from maternity leave) the balance was good. People were respectful of my time and helped me ease into things. It’s not a problem to take time off if daycare is closed or to even run out midday for a doctor’s appointment.”

Another mom was outright told by someone in management to never apologize for putting her family first. She echoed the same sentiments about appreciating the flexibility and trust she’s given to manage her workload while meeting her family’s needs.

She also said, “There’s a huge sense of teamwork within the creative department. If someone is busy, we bail each other out. We also have the ability to hire freelancers or move work around. We foster that kind of culture here and we're all friends. So you're never on your own. It’s definitely not cutthroat or internally competitive the way some agencies are.”

According to our agency moms, having a female CEO makes a huge difference. 

One woman said, “I appreciate that our CEO, Kathy, will stop in the middle of a (virtual) meeting to acknowledge her son when he comes into the room. She leads by example in showing that it’s ok to put family first.”

Other moms also echoed the sentiment that coworkers and members of leadership kept in touch with them throughout their maternity leaves and during their returns to work.

“Kathy checked in on me to make sure everything was ok. And I appreciate that. Having a female leader who is also a mother is a big deal to me. She gets it. She’s been in our shoes before. It’s great that there are so many parents and mothers who work here.”

Any tips for new moms (and dads), re-entering the workforce?

Something every mom agreed with: “You have to be your own advocate. If you’re feeling stressed, you have to raise a flag. Moms try to wear all the hats. But setting up your personal boundaries will make a huge difference.”

So here’s to keeping more women in the workforce.

While you’re here, why not check out our careers page. Who knows, we may be hiring for your role.