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February 22, 2022

How Ironpaper Creates a Supportive Culture for Parents

By Chantel Hall, Marketing Content Specialist

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Looking through Ironpaper employees’ calendars, it’s not uncommon to see blocks of time marked “School Dropoff” or “Naptime - no calls.” Fifty-two percent of working parents say that working makes it harder for them to be good parents, but Ironpaper is working to flip that script by creating a supportive culture that enables parents to be their best selves at work and at home.

Here are just a few ways Ironpaper supports and empowers working parents.

Flexibility and understanding

According to Jonathan Franchell, CEO and Founder of Ironpaper, “Parenting is a more important job than what we do in our eight-hour day.” That belief is the foundation for how we treat working parents at Ironpaper. We extend flexibility and understanding to all of our employees, allowing working parents to care for their families and structure their workday around their kids’ needs.

Sam Ward, an Account Lead at Ironpaper, says she can do her best work because she knows that she has her team’s support when she takes time away from work to care for her daughter. 

“When it comes to being a parent, so much of my mental health revolves around my kid being taken care of. Having a job where I don’t have to pick one or the other is so important to me, and it allows me to focus. When I am at work, I don’t have to stress out about rushing to get things done just in case something happens with the kid. I can just focus on getting the work done and balancing my life,” she shared.

We also work to make sure that all parents benefit from these policies regardless of gender. Billy Saemann, a Senior Digital Marketer, said, “It’s nice knowing that as a dad I have the same support. People here don’t see it as ‘A man does this, a woman does that.’ It’s good working with people who have that mindset.”

Parenting forum

A crucial part of the culture at Ironpaper is the understanding that we’re not perfect, and we make a point of listening to parents so we can continually improve. Jonathan says, “I try to stay open because I don’t know everything. I’m always receptive to ideas because a lot of good ideas won’t come from me.”

Jonathan and Nora Leary, Ironpaper’s Senior Growth Director, held a parenting forum in the summer of 2021. The forum gave parents a place to connect and vent their frustrations in a productive way, and it gave leadership a chance to learn more about how they could support the working parents on our team. Even non-parents attended the forum to learn more about the challenges working parents deal with and show their support. 

Lauren Lyons, Ironpaper’s Senior Analyst and Research Writer and mother of two, said she appreciated that Ironpaper took the time to listen to concerns that other companies might just expect parents to deal with on their own. “Retention is really hard right now, and parenting is really hard for parents, so it’s vitally important for companies to really get comfortable with taking a look at what their employees are going through as parents and what kind of flexibility and support they can provide.”

Support from coworkers

Many of the working parents at Ironpaper are part of a parenting Slack channel (affectionally called #kiddos) started by Sam. Parents can ask questions, get advice, share pictures and stories about their kids, and connect with other people who know what they’re going through.

Ironpaper has also worked hard to foster an environment where team members are willing and able to step in to help each other when parenting pulls their attention away. When the pandemic hit, John Skroly, Director of Marketing for Ironpaper, had to make a last-minute drive from Connecticut to Michigan to bring his son home from college. Other directors and his team stepped in to ensure his clients were taken care of. 

“One of the biggest reasons why I love working here is the people,” said Lauren. “Everyone’s very genuine and real, especially with parenting.” A supportive culture is built into how we interact with each other and build relationships with our team members.

Empowering parents to be great at work and at home

Supporting parents has to be a top-down effort, and it has to be part of a broader culture of support and understanding. At Ironpaper, we understand how important a supportive culture is to our employees’ success and happiness.

Hannah Emme, an Account Lead at Ironpaper, says she has seen this supportive culture in action. “As a parent, I know that I’m supported, and I’m not going to be asked to put something job-related in front of my role as a mom.”

We want to empower our employees to do the best work they can - and they can’t do that if they’re worried about childcare or stressed out because they have nobody to take care of their sick child. Giving parents flexibility and support allows them to focus on their work when they’re working and focus on their family when they’re not.

The fast pace of marketing agency life can be challenging for parents even in the best of times, but Ironpaper has worked hard to cultivate an inclusive culture and an understanding of the unique lives our employees live, including parenting. 

Friends told Lauren that she wouldn’t be happy or successful at a marketing agency because of the long hours and high stress, but, Lauren said, “I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.” 

Whether it’s a little one making an appearance in a morning standup or needing to schedule meetings around daycare pickup, Ironpaper’s employees get the trust and flexibility they need to be their best self both at work and at home.

Check out Ironpaper's Careers page to learn about open positions.

Tel 212-993-7809  

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10 East 33rd Street 
6th Floor
New York, NY 10016
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