Today, Elaine Cox is a successful executive creative director heading into her six month of maternity leave with her first baby. But for much of her career, motherhood seemed like a path that was tacitly discouraged in an industry dominated by men.
“It was never not a concern in my entire career,” Cox told Adweek on this week’s episode of Adweek’s podcast, Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad. “It definitely clouded my ability to tell if I even wanted kids because I was so in love with being a creative and doing a job that I loved.”
Cox is now a creative leader at Deloitte Digital-owned agency Heat, where she said women in leadership are commonplace, making her feel more secure in her decision to have a baby. And as a manager herself, she felt it important to take her full maternity leave to set a good example for rising women at the agency, showing that such policies are embraced from the top.
As agencies become more receptive to work-life balance benefits like parental leave, with months of Zoom calls helping provide a window into the realities of working parents, Cox joined Adweek reporter Minda Smiley—author of Adweek’s comprehensive article on why agencies are at a tipping point in favor of parental leave—and creative and innovation editor David Griner for a candid podcast conversation about the importance of policies, practices and workplace atmospheres that support parents.