Chicago Change Location

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Moms Welcome: A Look at Leo Burnett’s Mother’s Lounge

Go behind-the-scenes of the making of the new Mother’s Lounge and hear how it’s transformed the return to work for agency moms.

More than 70 percent of America’s young mothers are working ones – an incredibly rewarding, but often difficult task. This is especially true for those returning after maternity leave, who oftentimes lack the workplace resources needed for a smooth transition.

Leo Burnett Group saw an opportunity to proactively provide greater support to its returning moms by enhancing the building’s mother’s rooms. While Leo Burnett was one of the first agencies to provide returning moms with pumping rooms, it was clear there could be a better space for returning moms to use. With an average of 40 moms returning to the agency each year to use these resources, Leo Burnett knew it could – and should – do better.

Under the leadership and support of Publicis Groupe Chief Inclusion Experiences Officer Renetta McCann and Arc Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Chris Cancilla, Leo Burnett Group and its employee resource group ParentKind embarked on a mission to develop a new space just for agency moms that would transform their return to work.

“We wanted to create a real, tangible gesture of change that would demonstrate the agency's commitment to new mothers at a vulnerable moment in their careers, and retain those women so that they could succeed and advance their careers,” said Alma Klein, VP, creative director, Arc Worldwide, who helped lead the project.

Arc’s Retail Design Group was tasked to lead the design of the space. Beginning with strong research, the design team uncovered a suite of simple wins and watch-outs that helped mold the space’s final design, such as increased morale and productivity for employees who receive breastfeeding support and a preference towards sophisticated, non-baby-focused décor.

“We treated the ask the same as any client brief,” said Liz Rinaldi, VP, design director, Retail Design Group. “We rooted ourselves in the basic needs and expectations of working moms and defined an aspirational vision to create the most welcoming and accommodating mothers lounge in the industry.”

The result? A stylish 500-square-foot, Scandinavian-inspired lounge featuring eight private nursing rooms, two sinks, two microwaves, a refrigerator, dozens of lockers and two sofas. The space also includes a library of parenting and children’s books, a communication board and artwork by agency talent.

The space has already transformed the return experience for moms, shown in the agency’s newly released film. “It’s wonderful to feel valued,” one mother shares. “We can be here and be present, but still fulfill our roles as moms.”

Leo Burnett is a twelve-time Working Mother Magazine Top 100 Company, and the new Mother’s Lounge is just the latest initiative part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to supporting, retaining and championing its working mothers. Learn more about other initiatives supporting working moms.

May 11, 2018