Tell us about yourself and your current role.
My name is Selena Pizarro and my current role is SVP, Director of Video Production at RPA in Santa Monica, CA. I’ve been at RPA for almost 10 years and work on all of RPA’s non-automotive accounts, including Farmers Insurance, Apartments.com, La-Z-Boy, ampm and ARCO.
What is the culture like at your agency?
The culture at RPA is “People First” always and in every way. We have a culture of respect for ourselves, our client partners and their audiences.
How does that culture mesh with the juggling act that is being a working mother?
We work smart here at RPA, which means we are ahead of the ask, rather than behind it. This environment creates a healthy balance of work and life because we are not running around in disaster mode all the time. This allows me more time to do laundry at home.
In what ways has being a mother changed how you approach certain aspects of your job?
I have a different approach to time as a working mom. Like the saying goes, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Moms know how to get sh*t done – my day is broken out by the minute and somehow, someway, I am truly able to bend time.
What would you say are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother?
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother is knowing that I am providing a great life for my kids, and I am role-modeling for them what a working parent looks like. I love my job and I love being a mom. I am very lucky.
What are the biggest challenges that you’ve dealt with?
One of the biggest challenges that I have dealt with is the guilt of wondering whether my children would have turned out better if I had been home every day after school at 2:30 with them. I guess I’ll never know, but my eldest just got into Berkeley, so maybe we did something right?
What steps do you take to ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance?
I have set up my life in a two-mile radius: my office, our home and our school are all within this radius. This allows me to be with my kids for breakfast and for dinner most every day. I don’t waste time on the road and I’m close to my kids if anything happens. I also have an excellent ex-husband who shares the parenting with me.
What professional achievement are you most proud of? Tell us a bit about it.
I have been working on the Farmers Insurance campaign since day one, many years ago. It truly has made me proud to be a part of such a great client-and-agency partnership that has led to such success.
Where do you see the possibility for change for future working parents?
Shifting the workday paradigm to morph into what is necessary for parents.
Who are some working mothers that you admire/look up to?
Some working parents that I admire/look up to at RPA are Rebecca Mendelson (VP, Account Director), Mia von Sadovoszky (SVP, Group Strategic Planning Director), Ariel Shukert (Creative Director) and Jeff St. Jean (Associate Creative Director).
What is your favorite Mother’s Day campaign of all time?
Budweiser: The Real MVP. Made me cry and sheds light on the importance of mothers.
Google: #HeyMom, thank you! Warmed my heart, made me laugh and depicted what being a mom is really like.