Back to the blog

Having your cake and eating it! The power of choice from a “working media mum”

Thursday 8th March

I have made a choice to be a “working media mum”, a choice that I have reviewed constantly, suffered the consequences of, and enjoyed the rewards of. It never was a case of one or the other, but a constant review of micro choices. This is how I have kept faith in my ability to be a “working media mum”. I have never aimed for perfection. I have not siloed both lives. I have never shied away from being vulnerable. I have chosen to work as part of teams (at home, in the office). I have shared my experiences openly to both. I have not hidden from a client that I have children. I have fully lived this persona of the “working media mum”.

In writing this blog I wanted to be honest – it hasn’t always been easy – all choices come with some degree of compromise. The only one who honestly knows what I have gone through on a daily basis over the last 16 years is me. Colleagues only saw the “working media mum” dashing in and out (all Mums dash, a lot!), my family sometimes got the raw end of a hard day in the office. However neither family or colleagues judged me. I’m incredibly proud of what I have achieved as a role model for my two daughters and as a senior member of the Total Media team.

I was recently reading a piece of research published by a student at UAL London College of Communication – a thorough piece revealing how the advertising industry is failing working mothers. Well that was a depressing read and I took some relief in knowing that advertising hasn’t failed me and I haven’t failed it.

Like the rest of the industry parents remain a minority at Total Media – linked to the younger demographics, another trait of this industry – and within this minority an even smaller minority of us are working mothers. Despite being a ‘minority’, I’m proud to work at a business that makes continuing your career and being a Mum possible. Total Media is not a business of false initiatives as you often sadly see in other businesses who proudly promote a policy but the reality is a far cry from their grand gestures.  A strong example of how Total Media are supporting parents and future parents is the introduction of a new online support platform providing practical help and guidance to working parents, their teams and their managers:  Executive Coaching resources. Not a false initiative and not an ephemeral one! The majority of the senior team are parents, mums and dads, all having grown up in this industry and now involved with young families as well as challenging jobs. Why is it different? Why does it work? This comes down to the inclusive nature of our culture and the genuine support for working Mums!

I don’t know about you but I’m all for some positivity on this day. Today we have to change our industry culture, let’s start with our own behaviours and the ones around us! Let’s get involved, be inspired and inspiring! There is something for all of us and here a few favourite links I follow: Guardian Womens Blog, The Pool, Digital Mums, BBC 100 Women

My benchmark for success… well I have two daughters, who are growing a (very strong) sense of feminism but above all a lot of respect for my choice, who do care how my day went, who are even curious about the meetings I have had, asking me how my team members are getting on. Will success be achieved when they make their own decisions, have a career and children, have a career no children, or … stay at home? Despite the witticisms in the playground, I believe my choice will equip my daughters and make the world fairer, three women at a time!

Off I go now, I have the afternoon off and we are planning on watching Hidden Figures!

Article Written by

Karine Bernard

International Business Director, Total Media Group Ltd

Our International Business Director, Karine, has been working in media for an impressive 19 years. In her spare time, Karine is often venturing out to various places within the UK with her husband and 2 daughters.

Liked this article? Let others know