Tell us about yourself and your current role.
My name is Ahysha Donaldson and I am an Account Director serving multiple accounts at Eventive Marketing. In my capacity, it is my job to not only build client relationships and meet/exceed their business objectives, by ideating and executing strategic experiences; I’m also responsible for organic account growth and mentoring junior staff and ensuring retention.
What is the culture like at your agency?
At Eventive, there definitely is a family feel and people actually care about the well-being of others, and everyone is happy to roll up their sleeves and help one another.
How does that culture mesh with the juggling act that is being a working mother?
Being a mother and working at an agency are very similar in that you’re constantly juggling client demands and trying to provide guidance to your team(s) as you do with your child(ren).
In what ways has being a mother changed how you approach certain aspects of your job?
Motherhood has definitely changed my approach to certain aspects of my job, specifically it’s helped me find balance. I now understand the importance of “me” time, family time all while still being able to deliver good work. Motherhood has also made me a lot more mindful of being there for junior team members who are trying to learn the industry.
What would you say are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother?
The most rewarding aspects of being a working mother is that I’m able to be more sympathetic to others. But also, I’m now able to truly say, it’s okay, we’re here to do great work, but there are bigger things to worry about in life.
What are the biggest challenges that you’ve dealt with?
I think the biggest challenge of being a working mother is proving that you can be just as effective as those employees who don’t have children. Often employers have the mentality that anyone with a child won’t be able to keep up with the workload or the pace of agency life. That said, these thoughts interestingly don’t apply to men in the advertising industry.
What steps do you take to ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance?
What’s important to me is to set boundaries. There is time for work, time for my family and time for myself. When I leave the office, I ensure that I dedicate alone time to me and son, to catch up on how school was, anything he wants to talk about, etc. There are times when I have to bring work home, but I ensure I speak with my family about it, and they are aware beforehand. I also try my best only get online after my son is settled or asleep for the night.
What professional achievement are you most proud of? Tell us a bit about it.
The professional achievement I’m most proud was from when I first started my career.
I was working at Sounds of Brazil in New York, or as many know it, SOBs. My boss at the time Gail Horio give me the opportunity to lead an event from start to finish, including creative, Public Relations and onsite management. I remember asking her, are you sure you want “me” to do this? And she said, yes, you know how. I was honored, shocked and speechless at the same time, but I knew that I could do it. Since then, I look at every project I work on like it was my first, giving it that same love and attention as I did when I was a young girl just starting in this industry.
Where do you see the possibility for change for future working parents?
I see some changes in the work place at certain agencies already, but it would be great to see more companies implement flexible work schedules to accommodate parents (and employees in general) with children. Parent support groups at agencies would also be very helpful for parents returning to work after being out on maternity/paternity leave, or even for parents who need help readjusting to the workplace with balance
Who are some working mothers that you admire/look up to?
Some working mothers I admire are June Ambrose, Justine Greenwald, Debbie Kaplan, Soche Picard and Simone Pratt.