MullenLowe's 'Momternships' Help Moms Who Are Returning to Work

HeyMama helped develop paid 10-week program

MOMS WANTED for agency positions. No experience required.

Kris Mangini Thompson knows how tough it can be for mothers seeking to re-enter the working world after spending time away from the office to focus on their families.

A few years back, she sought to restart her career, but was frequently branded as "overqualified"—or simply dismissed out of hand—before joining MullenLowe in January as a freelance creative director.

"I was a creative person long before I was a mom," Mangini Thompson says. "However, as a parent, the instinct to solve shifted me into hyperdrive. Professional moms were a blind spot that demanded a solution. I thought, what if we could remove the convention of what qualifies someone for a job and call it an opportunity? And rather than calling someone overqualified, call them superqualified"—viewing the depth and breadth of their experience as a virtue, rather than a liability.

With that in mind, Thompson teamed up with MullenLowe's executive director of PR, Erica Samadani, and HeyMama, a membership community for working moms, to develop a special 10-week internship program.

Dubbed "Momternships," these positions will provide mentoring, support and on-the-job training. MullenLowe will give its momterns the chance to work on client business in capacities ranging from creative, product and account management to finance, human resources and PR:


"Momterns will work across our client portfolio," which includes TJ Maxx, KFC, Corona and New Balance, Samadani says. "They'll be able to participate, learn and actively shadow team members. What department they choose and what office they are connected to will dictate which brand accounts they work on."

The gig pays $25 an hour with flexible/remote work options available, plus access to childcare through Urban Sitter. MullenLowe plans to host six momterns starting in September across its offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Previous experience in advertising is not required.

MullenLowe hopes to hire some or all of its momterns for permanent positions once they complete the program, during which they will receive assistance with résumé writing and personal branding, plus free HeyMama memberships with access to digital events, conferences and one-on-one career development sessions.

The program's creators believe "Momternships" will help address a tangible need. Per U.S. labor statistics, more than 1 million women left jobs during the pandemic, largely owing to a lack of childcare resources. About 80 percent of those moms "could not afford to be out of work," says HeyMama CEO Erika Feldhus. "The time is now to stop penalizing women for stepping away and recognize the strengths moms bring to the workplace."

"We hope this is just a start," Samadani says. "We're hopeful we can help remove the stigma surrounding working mothers and address the employment penalty against taking time to care for your family."

Separately, Arnold Worldwide recently launched a markedly different internship program to recruit diverse and underrepresented talent with experience in comedy.


Creative Agency: MullenLowe
CEO: Lee Newman
SVP, Executive Director, Public Relations: Erica Samadani
Head of MullenLowe Brand and Communications: Lu Borges
Co-Founder: Kristine Thompson 
President of MullenLowe Boston: Kelly Fredrickson
Creative Director & Head of Art: Fabio Brigido
Creative Director / Design Director: Fabiano de Queiroz Tatu
Sr. Copywriter: Joy Barnett
Brand & Communications Designer: Christian Meissner 
Sr. Designer: Fazel Sayeh
Jr. Designer: Tarin Karimbux
VP, Head of Technology: Dave Lee
Executive Producer, Digital: Courtney Coyne
Sr. Digital Producer: Chris Calhoon
Content Producer: Nicole Downey
Manager of Experiences/Executive Assistant: Lindsay Menco
SVP, HR Director: Perri Grinberg
Senior Agency Communications Manager: Katie Tammaro
HR Manager: Jessica Dwyer
Diversity, Equity, Inclusions, Learning & Development Manager: Jacqueleen Flores
Community Manager: Valentina Valderrabano Arias
VP, Head of Operations: Paige Arrington 
Director of Project Management: Kemit McCullough
Sr. Project Manager: Cassie Horne

CEO: Erika Feldhus 
Co-founder and Chief Community Officer: Amri Kibbler

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