With two kids of her own, Carol Evans knows what it means to be a working mom, and how the challenges have changed since her first go-round with iWorking Mother in the late 1970s, when she toiled in ad sales. After purchasing the title in 2001, she quickly implemented changes to make it relevant to a new generation of workforce mothers.PRWeek: What changes did you make when you took over? Carol Evans: The biggest change was realizing that we had to take it away from the Baby Boomer generation. I realized this pretty intuitively. I knew that I was the Baby Boomer it was created for, and my story was very different from the Generation Xers who came up and really wanted to work part-time and flex-time. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, were much more paternalistic about work, nose-to-the-grindstone, coming right back after our babies. It was something horrid to the Baby Boomers, which were women taking three years off, women working only three days a week. It was a huge change. It was literally like taking the title and pulling it away from the jaws of something.
PRWeek: Do you think work life has gotten better or worse for working moms in your lifetime? Evans: A lot better. Just that one word - flexibility - that did not apply when I started out as a mom. Of course, there are some moms who aren't committed to their careers. But as a whole segment, there is about one-third of moms who really feel that their career is an exciting opportunity. That is our reader base.
PRWeek: What's the biggest challenge for working mothers now? Evans: It's still stress. Working mothers always have their heads and hearts in two places at once. There is always the feeling that they must do more. They're not satisfied with the work they are doing as moms nor the work they are doing professionally.
PRWeek: What is the next big trend for working moms? Evans: Part-time professional work. That might sound a bit odd, but I think professional women are very interested in working part-time for a certain period in their careers, when they have small kids. Granted, that's not easy to accomplish and it's not easy for companies to offer. But if you're asking me about the future, I think there is a very big benefit for companies. Dropping out of the work force is really quite painful. We have all noticed how hard it is to get back in. You have to keep your skills up, but doing that is hard in this fast-changing world. Companies will notice in the future that [keeping women part-time] is a big win for them.
PRWeek: What are misconceptions about the magazine and about working mothers? Evans: First, I want [readers] to know that we are one of the only magazines that have real moms throughout. All of our advice comes from real moms. We have a huge reader panel of about 5,000 working mothers around the US that PR pros can access. They can ask questions of working moms. People in general don't realize how hip, young, and fashion-forward these moms are. They are so out there in the culture. They're really the trendsetters and thought leaders.