Give it Up for All the Mothers in the Middle

During the “Daughters of the Evolution” panel at Cannes 2017, three creative leaders invited their daughters on stage to discuss life when mom runs at ad agency. But creative leaders aren’t the only ones who have to make tough choices when it comes to work and family.

Rosie the Riveter knows every working mom is a total badass.

I love that a few creative leaders put their daughters on stage to create a discussion about advertising and motherhood. Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ CCO Margaret Johnson, Design Army co-founder/CCO Pum Lefebure, and Leo Burnett Canada CEO and North America CCO Judy John didn’t have to do that. But they’re creative geniuses and they came up with a fresh way to approach a panel. Hearing from their daughters was real and inspiring.

But while these girls provided a new perspective about work/family balance in advertising, the panel left me wanting more.

I want to hear from more daughters. Specifically, from some daughters of ad creatives in the middle. Who don’t travel to Cannes, but are sent on last-minute shoots and have to coordinate childcare. Who aren’t invited onstage to address the industry, but work late to lock down a deck. Who aren’t well compensated for running an agency, but sometimes struggle to make ends meet. Who feel more like a cog than a unicorn.

I’m incredibly inspired that a few creative leaders took the opportunity to hand the mic to their daughters. But I think it’s equally important to acknowledge that it’s not just moms who run award-winning agencies that have to make tough decisions when it comes to balancing work and family.

If us creative types know anything, it’s that relatability matters. And I have a hunch that a lot more people can relate to all the hard-working, smart moms in the middle. Let’s give them a Lion-sized shout out. Lord knows they don’t get appreciated at the office nearly enough.