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Does anyone feel like they’ve had more empathetic leadership from female vs. male bosses during the pandemic while WFH with kids? I work for an all-male team and am feeling super discouraged. Wondering if I should start looking into opportunities with specifically woman-owned agencies.

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in my experience, men with SAHM wives are the worst bc they legit don’t get the difference between themselves and a household with 2 working parents. I’ve found they also treat my career like a fun hobby, like I’m only working bc I’m stubborn or something. My old boss (with a SAHM wife) gave me a big speech when I told him I was pregnant that he would understand my decision if I didn’t want to come back after meeting my baby. My pregnant ass told him I was the breadwinner and I’d see him in July. Fuck that guy.

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Me too! I’m the breadwinner of the two of us. I really love working, and I don’t want to be a SAHP - but really I hate working my ass off for ungrateful people.

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I don’t think it’s women-owned or male-dominated. It’s either your leadership team understands and is supportive of the fact that there is life outside work or not. I’ve had all male teams that do and others that don’t. I’ve had all female teams — including those who were moms - who made it even harder for me as a mom too.

Normalizing parenthood in advertising is something that just needs to happen. I have 3 kids, I talk about it. The good, the bad, the ugly.

All that to say, if you’re not feeling supported, find an agency who will be supportive. I talk about my kids in the interview - because if they can’t make peace with the fact that I’m a responsible af person who can be a parent and do the job I’ve been hired for.... then they don’t deserve me!

PS - I also work in new biz. And great new biz people are hard to find. 😉

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This. Most of the male bosses appear to have some 1950s mindset that their female spouse or partner deals with the kids - so have zero empathy for the stress and daily plate spinning that happens.

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Yep and my company has not acknowledged the mental health toll that current events are taking on all staff, including those of us who are parents. Definitely an old school mindset of just keep your head down, work and nevermind that the world is on fire.

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Definitely. And I’ve had my share of understanding male bosses but no one quite gets it like a female boss who’s had kids. It’s not just the hours but also the mental load and emotional impact of having kids that they get. My boss tells me to “put your health and your family first... the work will always be here” or “oh no you’re child has behavioral issues - do you want to take a leave?” I appreciate her with all my heart and soul and know I would have gone insane after having two kids if it hadn’t been for her. She saw me through fertility treatments, pregnancies, extended maternity leaves and leaves when I discovered my son’s behavioral issues. She’s my rock and my hero and I definitely would have quit a long time ago had it not been for her understanding, compassion and support. I share this not to brag but to let you know amazing bosses do exist.

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Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad your boss has been so supportive and has given you the time you needed for yourself and your family. I had a more understanding female boss in my last job - but I was junior and didn’t have kids at that time, so I covered for her a lot so she could be with her kids when they were teenagers. Now that I have 2 kids - I don’t have the same kind of cover. My boss is a nice person, but his wife was a SAHM so he just doesn’t get it.

I have to tip my hat to my straight, male, married-without-children boss for surprising me with his understanding and support! A welcome twist!

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This is your opportunity to teach them by being the boss you already are. Do not shy away from this challenge- you can change it. I know I did. I was steadfast and courageous even when I was stressed, depressed, overwhelmed and overworked. The last thing I’d want to see from you is to walk away. We are right there with you!

Also, I had a call with about 7 women in leadership most of whom don’t have children. Talk about zero empathy.

Sending you boss lady hi fives and super mom encouragement!

uplifting

SPM1 good advice! It’s a little scary to think of leaving a known quantity in such an uncertain time - but I’m at least going to start putting myself out there a bit more and network with agencies and leaders I admire, and some recruiters I trust. It can’t hurt!

I’ve had amazing male bosses and women who were less so in terms of empathy and flexibility.

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