PR Mums wants to support candidates and companies alike. By Katie Wright.
A company aiming to help women back into public relations jobs after starting a family has been welcomed by the industry.
PR Mums was set up by managing director Emma Padden and a group of seven ‘founding mums’ who recognised how challenging it is to return to work following maternity leave or taking time out for childcare.
“There are countless barriers to returning to work,” said Jo Vyvyan-Robinson, partner at Freud Communications and founding mum at PR Mums.
“The cost of childcare, the need for flexible working and of course the mental and physical load of trying to do it all.”
The lack of support and flexibility for those returning to work is causing some women to abandon their careers in PR.
“The harsh reality facing mums coming back into the comms industry following parental leave is pretty daunting and uncompromising,” said Ali Maynard-James, managing director at Manifest Group and another founding mum.
“It’s no wonder so many talented women leave the industry – this has to stop.”
As well as connecting candidates with employers, the company will support workers via training, events, mentoring and an online forum, and campaign and advocate on key issues.
“Our goal is to add to the industry excellent candidates who feel they otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay in the profession after having a child, and to support companies in helping them to stay in the industry,” said Alexandra Heybourne, founding mum and director at Freud Communications.
The company also wants to highlight what mums can bring to the table.
“In my experience, new parents are highly focused, more empathetic and seem to have an inner strength they didn’t have before,” said founding mum Nicola McKelvey, a self-employed senior communications consultant.
By helping mothers get back into work, the firm hopes to see more women rise to senior roles.
“In PR especially, it’s a real issue that so many women drop out of the industry after they have a child, leaving agencies male-heavy in senior positions,” McKelvey continued.
“This affects the whole PR eco-system, impacting culture, values and behaviours of each organisation
PR Mums aims to address this and ensure women are properly represented throughout the PR industry.”
The company’s pre-launch announcement generated a flood of support and positive responses on social media from industry insiders who believe an initiative like this is long overdue.
“That we went viral is testimony to the strength of the people involved and more importantly the absolute need for PR Mums from all sides of the sector,” said Heybourne.
“We’ve been flooded with stories, opportunities and solidarity – what’s heartening is that everyone wants to support mums and more broadly parents in the industry. The opportunities are huge.”
PR Mums launches on July 17. To register, support or get involved visit pr-mums.com.