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Roundtable: Work-life Balance
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Linda Scott:

Welcome, everyone. We’ve gathered this group to talk about how people – but especially women – maintain the balance between their work and their lives as advertising professionals. Can we begin by going around the table and each one introducing herself?

Tara DeVeaux:

Sure. My name is Tara DeVeaux, I am a Senior Account Director at BBDO New York. About a year ago, I also started a women’s council at BBDO, which is the first of its kind in the New York office. Our mission is to identify and nurture the future female leaders at BBDO. The thinking is that there are a lot of women who are in mid-level positions, and who are deemed to be stars within the organization, but often just drop out. Not for other agencies, but leave the industry altogether. So our goal is to foster their development, and help and groom them for C-level ranks within the agency. I’m also a single mother of two kids, a fifteen-year-old and an eleven-year-old. I usually have a slightly different perspective from other women who have either no children or have two parents in the home.

Claire Behar:

I’m Claire Behar, and I’m the Managing Director of Global Agency Partnerships for Communispace, the consumer collaboration agency, and anchored in New York. I have had a career in marketing that has spanned 25 years, predominately with Omnicom. I also run an Omnicom new business forum of complementary agencies, so I’ve had wide exposure to the many facets and complexities of agency life over the years, and witnessed first-hand how people, especially working mothers, manage their careers. I’ve seen tremendous shifts in how we tackle work/life balance as an industry in that time too; when I started out I was one of the first in my agency to take maternity leave! I have two children, ages nineteen and twenty-one, and my husband is a physician, so I can offer the perspective of juggling an intense two-career family. I am looking forward to talking about that today.

Andrea Sullivan:

I’m Andrea Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer of Interbrand North America. I have been with Interbrand for twelve years. I curate the thought leadership that is of greatest interest to C-suite Interbrand clients and top marketers in the industry. Interestingly, the topic of women’s leadership is something that has had considerable rise in interest. In fact, we’re hosting an executive women’s leadership summit at the beginning of next year. These kinds of topics around “work/life balance”, as well as promoting women at leadership levels, are interesting to the industry as a whole, but especially to the Millennial generation, who are now at the start of their careers. We’re doing some research on the topic, as well as bringing in key authorities and experts. I think we’re all at the point that we’re learning as much as we are teaching, and that’s probably why we’re all around the table.

I’m the mother of two children. When I married my husband, he had a position that was more senior than mine, but he’s now a stay-at-home father, as I call him, “the CFO: chief family officer.” He works from home, but he does the lion’s share of all of the homework, meal preparation, and caregiving to our kids. He does much more than I think most men that are staying at home – as there’s a lot of them now. So as I think about my own life, structuring our family life this way has been an important part of how I’ve been able to cope and be successful in my career.

Jami Fullerton:

My name is Jami Fullerton. I’m a professor of advertising and I hold a research chair at Oklahoma State University. Before coming to academia, I worked in the advertising business in Dallas. But I didn’t have children at that time. Instead, I put off having children, so here I am at fifty with an eleven year old. And she’s a handful. However, you...

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