Next Creative Leaders

Next Creative Leaders is a portfolio competition that identifies, celebrates, and gives a global platform to talented women and non-binary creatives who are making their mark on the world with both their work and a unique point of view on creative leadership.

2022 Next Creative Leaders Work - NCL Work

The Pregnancy Pause

Agency Emily Sheehan

Client NCL 2022 | Emily Sheehan


NCL 2022

Annual ID


Project Type

Mother New York

Client Name
Mother New York

Client URL

My Role in This Project
Each year, Mother (appropriately enough) creates a project to support and thank Mothers - and in 2017, I was briefed in on that project. Despite being raised as a cis woman in America and working as half of a female creative team, I personally didn’t realize just how bad the lack of paid maternity leave was for moms in the US for many years. Not until my aunt, an experienced marketing executive, couldn't even land a job at a lampshade store after taking maternity leave due to her 'resume gap'. I suggested we reach out to LinkedIn to add an explanation of maternity leave to their site. When they declined - and despite having no money and no ability to change the political landscape of the US - my creative partner and I decided to create our own workaround to help moms fill that 'unexplained' resume gap - and call attention to how truly obscene the lack of mandated paid leave in the US is.

Project Description
America is 1 of only 2 industrialized nations worldwide that doesn’t provide paid maternity leave. Refusal to support mothers on a national level forces many out of work once they give birth - and upon return, they apply with “resume gaps” that recruiters can’t legally ask them about. This immediately lowers their chances of getting hired. In 2017, we reached out to LinkedIn to suggest they add an explanation of maternity leave to their site. They declined--so we made one ourselves. We created a literal stopgap in the form of a fake company moms could list on their LinkedIn resumes to explain time on leave: “Mom” at “The Pregnancy Pause”. The project was shortlisted for a Glass Lion at Cannes, won Silver and Bronze in use of Social Platforms, A Silver Pencil for Community Building, 4 LIA Silver and Bronze titles, Bronze at Epica, and was a finalist for a few ADC titles as well. Most importantly: Moms still use the Pregnancy Pause on their resumes to this day--and five years later, LinkedIn has finally added the option on their platform as well.


The Pregnancy Pause

The Pregnancy Pause LinkedIn Page

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