With COVID-19 restrictions easing up and child-care facilities re-opening, millions of mothers who took a professional break have an opportunity to return to work.
Aiming to smooth the transition process, creative agency MullenLowe is launching a 10-week paid internship program with mentorship, on-the-job and technological training for moms.
Moms need no previous advertising experience to apply. The program aims to tackle bias against working mothers trying to get back to work outside of their previous fields.
The program is inspired by the personal experience of creative director and Momternship co-founder Kris Mangini Thompson. After taking time off work to care for her family, Thompson decided to apply for jobs in a new field, but found herself being rejected as an overqualified candidate for entry-level jobs.
Momternships offer professional opportunities in various MullenLowe departments based on the applicant's interests: from advertising, communications and PR, to HR, finance and production.
The program will start small, offering placement to six moms this year across MullenLowe’s offices in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. Participants will receive a wage of $25 per hour along with access to mentorship sessions, networking opportunities, resume-building experiences and exposure to new technologies. They will also receive access to HeyMama, an online community for entrepreneurial moms.
The application period opened on June 15, and the program is scheduled to begin in the fall. MullenLowe aims to nurture talent through the program that can ultimately fill permanent positions.
To help more companies best assist mothers looking to reenter the workforce, MullenLowe and HeyMama created an eight-page employer toolkit, which can be accessed on momternships.com website for free. The toolkit includes insights from HeyMama’s community of mothers and outlines best practices that companies can implement to ease the transition for working moms including remote work, childcare support and tech training.
MullenLowe said it is speaking to TJ Maxx about partnering on the program but declined to provide further details on what that might entail.
“I think the general hope is that we don't need momternships a few years from now because moms are already having the support and flexibility they need to advance in their careers and also take care of their families. But in the meantime, we hope it goes far and wide,” said Erica Samadani, executive director of MullenLowe U.S.