Flexible working: IMA ‘Real Talk’ podcast discusses current policies


Global marketing agency IMA has released another episode of its no-nonsense podcast ‘Real Talk’, with the latest edition highlighting persistent barriers relating to flexible working patterns.

Flexible working policies

Featuring Lauren Fabianski, Pregnant Then Screwed’s Head of Campaigns and Communications – who spent over a decade in senior marketing and strategy roles before joining the charity – and Jess Loy, Lead Planner at IMA, the episode considers key issues such as access to justice, paternity leave and affordable childcare, as Lauren and her wider team continue to work to change the culture that allows pregnancy and maternity discrimination to thrive.

For example, just 18% of Brits believe that two weeks paternity leave is sufficient, according to research Pregnant Then Screwed carried out with YouGov last year – yet nearly three in five Dads took two weeks or less.

This mismatch has an impact on the mental health of parents and even educational outcomes of children and divorce rates, Lauren points out, while, in other OECD countries, which offer six weeks’ paternity leave, there are smaller gender parity gaps in the labour market.

What’s more, the charity is campaigning to extend the employment tribunal limit to at least six months – with Joeli Brearley, Founder and Director of Pregnant Then Screwed, having herself discovered – only too late, after her high-risk pregnancy – that she had only three months to claim.

Lauren describes our parental leave system as ‘antiquated’, pointing out that senior staff have a responsibility both when it comes to policy and role modelling behaviour, and calling for jobs to be designed as flexible by default – not just for parents but also carers, neurodivergent individuals, and those seeking to pursue other passions and commitments outside of work; so that flex is not seen ‘as a burden, or dependent on the relationship you have with your line manager’.

The podcast also considers whether adland faces particular issues as a service business, and points to the use of NDAs to silence women.

IMA released its new straight-talking podcast for brand leaders, marketers, and agency folk who want thought-provoking, straight-talking conversation.

Other episodes feature IPA lead Josh Krichefski, ITV’s Business Director Jason Spencer and IMA’s team of experts, each bringing their depth and breadth of experience to every episode.

Real Talk is available to subscribe to on Spotify and all other major podcast platforms, with episodes released bi-weekly.