By thelaegotist / /
4A’s sponsored coaching program begins August 29
When presented with the challenge of juggling the demands of a thriving advertising agency career with a satisfying family life, some of us may seek sanctuary in a classic TV commercial: “Calgon, take me away!” Today, there’s a real solution: a live virtual coaching program designed to maintain and grow women as leaders within agencies. Mothers across all work levels meet bi-weekly in small groups for the eight-session program, which is sponsored by the 4A’s. The next program’s registration deadline is August 15.
During the webinars, founders Beryl Greenberg (a certified executive coach, former agency leader and recruiter) and Kerry Griffin (chief talent officer at MERGE) lead women on a transformative experience that changes their mindsets and actions. Through the relatable, coach-led curriculum, mothers learn how to become effective leaders, take control, and create lasting change within their work and home lives. We recently chatted with Griffin, a mother of four, about the series.
When did you start doing the [email protected] webinars, and what was the impetus?
I created the program about five years ago while I was at my previous agency after one of our successful executives handed me her resignation. She felt overwhelmed and was struggling with excelling at work while making time for family—let alone herself. We talked about investing in a coach to help her map out a success plan. Then it hit me: She’s not the only mother struggling here! Beryl and I got busy building out the program immediately, and I’m happy to report that we’ve impacted hundreds of mothers since.
What needs to change in our industry to significantly impact the gender balance in leadership circles?
Creating our own internal awareness is the first step to moving the needle. We’ve heard a lot about the issues, and we’re seeing agencies updating policies and practices to help mothers. Now, agencies need to set goals and make decisions to keep them accountable to further change this dynamic. Internal affinity groups help. Taking that a big step farther, they need to invest in key talent for further leadership development, provide tools to reframe perspectives, rethink decision-making and, ultimately, regain control. It is both a cultural shift and a mindset shift, and it can’t be done through a training session alone. That’s why coaching is so effective. Participants experience change over time and learn how to craft and maintain their needed alterations.
Is the work/life balance still the biggest issue women are facing today in their quest to break the glass ceiling? PS: Aren’t all moms, by nature, leaders?
Work-life balance is part of it, but it’s much more complicated. One of the first things we talk about within the program is the concept of the balancing act. It’s unrealistic and causes us to feel off kilter. By reframing this ideal, we reset ourselves and begin to establish healthy expectations for ourselves.
Since mothers have so many varied experiences—paired with the need to do more with less time—by and large, they come to the shop with more tools in their toolboxes than their male counterparts. They have the potential to soar if properly supported.
Kat Gordon’s 3% Movement says that 29% of creative director roles are now held by women—that’s a huge increase since the group was founded in 2010. Still, research shows that nearly half of mothers (49%) believe parenthood negatively impacted their careers. And moms’ earnings decrease by 4% with each child, while dads’ incomes go up 6%. Everyone hits the wall at some time, but our industry’s mothers tend to speed toward theirs—over and over again. [email protected] methodically guides moms toward their own answers, so they don’t reach that wall, and instead, unlock their potential to grow within their organizations.
What, specifically, can working moms expect to take away from attending your eight-course webinar?
The transformational, coach-guided journey teaches mothers to lean into their own personal visions and values as they assess their lives. Every mother is different, and that’s the beauty of the program. It helps women peel back the layers and provides insights to why each of us responds and reacts as we do. You mentioned the glass ceiling. Women have this overwhelming ability to hold themselves back. So, it’s not surprising that the internal shifts that each mother experiences make a momentous impact on the height of her ceiling. Upon the end of our last group, one mother summed it up nicely by saying, “I am in control of what I want to prioritize, what my values are and how I manage the day-to-day stress.” Wow! I’ll take some of that!
Can you share a few of your favorite anecdotes from women who have attended?
I’m afraid if I share one or two your readers may think that is what every session is like, when in reality, each group dynamic is different and amazing. Each mother is moving through the program, thinking about her own life, vision and actions to get her closer to that vision, and what continually floors me is that the answers are so vastly different from participant to participant. Some make tiny changes and feel dramatically better about all areas of their life, and then others make life-changing decisions. For instance, one woman shared that Dad was going to quit work and stay home with the kids.