‘Negotiating a part-time role is harder than giving birth’

Mums in Advertising Australia has released the Part-Time Pitch, calling on Australian agencies to keep women in the industry

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


‘Negotiating a full-time role into a part-time one is harder than giving birth, so many don’t even try.’

This is the brutal insight that sits at the heart of The Part-Time Pitch, a new initiative from Mums In Ads (MIA), which is urging the industry to advertise all job vacancies as full-time/part-time negotiable.

The organisation has taken the pitch deck - a tool so often used to highlight the very best of the advertising industry to tackle a problem so often ignored or overlooked. The huge talent pool so often locked out of the industry because of a lack of flexibility. 

To meet this challenge MIA is not suggesting that all roles need to become part-time, but that companies be genuinely open to conversations about compressed hours, Job sharing, 9am to 3pm workdays, 9-day fortnights or 3-day weeks. As the pitch deck declares: “‘By committing to changing the language to ‘full-time/part-time negotiable, you immediately remove a huge barrier for mums and parents.”

The campaign comes off the back of 2022 statistics from Advertising Council Australia’s (ACA) Create Space Census. The census revealed an underrepresentation of women in senior roles and a sharp decline in women’s participation in the advertising industry from the age of 35. 

By better supporting women to not only stay, but thrive, during these spicy years of motherhood, our industry will start to see the gender imbalances in leadership begin to even out.

Julia Spencer, Co-Founder MIA

Julia Spencer, Co-Founder MIA, explains: “We think it’s no coincidence that the age women begin to leave advertising coincides with the age where child-caring responsibilities are at their peak. By better supporting women to not only stay, but thrive, during these spicy years of motherhood, our industry will start to see the gender imbalances in leadership begin to even out.” 

She continues: “We know that 77% of women in Australia are mothers and that 69% of part-time workers in Australia are women. So by advertising job roles as full-time only, as our industry currently does as standard, we are putting in place a barrier that shuts down conversations and shuts out women - and the findings of the Create Space Census reflect this.”

MIA’s Part-Time Pitch deck was sent to agency leaders and HR representatives from over 50 Australian agencies with the aim to have them commit to making all advertised jobs listed as full-time/part-time negotiable as standard. The initiative to remove barriers for working mothers and open up conversations to an even wider pool of talent. 

Regina Stroombergen, Co-Founder of  MIA, added: “We strongly believe that by having agencies commit to purposeful changes, like the simple language change propositioned in The Part-Time Pitch, advertising will truly become that pioneering place of inclusivity that it strives to be - future-proofing our industry and leaving ladders down for the next generation of talent.”  

She continued: “With more people wanting more flexible employment, and increasingly more men wanting to take on more caregiving themselves, it’s not just the mums in the advertising industry who would benefit from de-stigmatising part-time work but also dads, caregivers and anyone else who wants more balance, for whatever reason.”

Off the back of The Part-Time Pitch, MIA will launch an online jobs board at mumsinads.com later this year, featuring all agencies that have signed on to support the initiative. As well as the current full-time/part-time negotiable job roles they have on offer.  

To find out more click here.