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4 in 5 feel pressure to prioritise work over parenting duties

More than four in five (83%) working parents in the creative and related industries feel pressure to prioritise work over parenting duties, according to new research.

The data was released last week as part of Philips Avent’s breakfast panel at the Empower Café, Cannes, featuring leading voices including Marci El-Deiry, Philips Business Unit Leader – Mother and Child Care & Women’s Health; Chloe Davies, It takes A Village Founder; Frank Starling, Chief DEI Officer at Cannes Lions; and Sandrine Le Goff, LePub Executive Creative Director.

Despite 78% of working parents surveyed believing that their employer offers “adequate support”,  more than four in five (81%) parents said they feel they have to sacrifice their family life to achieve their career goals.

79% of people surveyed agree that societal pressures and expectations on moms have increased in the last decade,while 78% of parents reported having only up to 1 hour to themselves daily. 86% of women reported less than one hour a day to look after themselves, compared with 52% of men surveyed Industry events vs childcare duties 

Only 19% of non-parents in the industry recognized the difficulty parents face attending work events, like Cannes. Yet,  44% of parents said they have to be selective about the work events they attend because they don’t want to or can’t leave their children.

Almost half of women (46%) have to be selective attending work events compared to 39% of men. 25% of parents who attend work events rely on their partner or babysitters (21%) to take care of childcare.

Following the release of the figures and the panel event, the speakers called on the industry to commit to four core principles to better support working parents to #ShareTheCare, namely: Leading with empathy; Reviewing existing benefits; Creating safe spaces; and Mentorship. 

Marci El-Deiry, Philips Business Unit Leader – Mother and Child Care & Women’s Health, said: “As a mom of two boys, I know first-hand how challenging parenting can be alongside juggling your career; balancing the desire to be there for your children, while simultaneously wanting to accelerate in your career.

“It’s crucial that we acknowledge the challenges working parents face, and for employers to not only provide supportive benefit packages, but also create a culture where parents know they can ask for help without judgement. Giving parents support that enables them to share the care to make time for themselves is a win-win; it allows them to recharge and ultimately be their best at work, delivering results for the business.”

Chloe Davies, panel host and founder of It Takes A Village, commented: “It’s essential for our industry to not only support working mothers but also to recognise the unique value they bring to the creative process. As a mother of two neurodivergent children, I’ve faced many of the challenges highlighted in our survey. Today’s conversation was a step in the right direction and I look forward to empowering all parents, regardless of gender, as well as future parents, to navigate the balance between parenting and work more successfully.”

Frank Starling, Chief DEI Officer for Cannes Lions, said: “With almost half of parents saying they have to be selective about the work events they attend because they don’t want to or can’t leave their children, we need to create pathways for them to be supported which would include crèche facilities, a summary of key insights, inclusive spaces and opportunities to connect with new networks to accelerate equitable access”

Sandrine Le Goff, Executive Creative Director at LePub, added: “It’s a huge misconception to think that being a mom means putting your career on hold. I think it’s time to change that mindset and show that even as a mother you keep growing as a professional and you acquire so many new skills: adaptability, flexibility, and teamwork. These skills are invaluable for any creative in the industry, as they make you stronger.”

The survey was carried out by Ketchum London on behalf of Philips, between 6th -17th June 2024, surveying a total of 230 respondents from the creative, marketing, media, and related industries.