Rachel Grate
September 18, 2015 1:19 pm

We hate to talk about things that give us rage-feelings, but this is one situation that we just can’t ignore. A real estate firm in Washington decided to advertise their firm by shaming working mothers. They say the shaming was inadvertent, but still.

The ad features two images side-by-side: One of two men in suits, and one of a mom with three kids standing in the middle of a chaotic mess. “Who would you rather represent you?” the ad asks.

The back of the promotional card is just as bad. It says “Us vs. Them,” and claims they (implying working mothers) are, “available at THEIR convenience, not yours.” Way to stereotype all working mothers as people who can’t focus on their work, guys.

While the ad claims to be about choosing a full-time rather than part-time realtor, the sexist imagery overwhelms that message. After all, there are plenty of part-time realtors who are men in suits, and plenty of full-time realtors who go home to take care of their kids at the end of the day.

The firm responsible for the ad is Costello & Costello, and one of the men in the image is a father himself. Of course, there’s no implication that his duties as a father would ever interfere with his work — yet this is an implication working mothers face daily. It seems whether a woman chooses to work full time or become a full-time mom, she is accused of negligence. As this ad proves, trying to balance work and motherhood is just as judged.

On the bright side, Mashable reports that the firm issued an apology on their Facebook page earlier in the week, though it has since mysteriously been taken down.

“As sons of a single working mother and agents trying to build a family business, these reactions were difficult and important for us to hear,” they wrote. “We are truly sorry.”

The reality is, choosing a working mother as your realtor can actually be an advantage. Refinery29 interviewed Janice Hutchinson Hillsdon, a working mother and full-time agent who was infuriated by the ad.

Since so many of her clients either have kids or will soon, Hillsdon told Refinery29 that being a mom, “makes me the best resource. When they’re moving into the area and what to know who to contact as a pediatrician, what pre-schools are in the area, etc, I have those answers.”

I’ll let TV’s greatest real estate agent, Phil Dunphy, have the last word here. His quote kind of perfectly sums up the response of realtors (who also happen to be working moms) everywhere.

Related reading:

The awesome way strangers are responding to one terribly sexist ad

Women reveal all the sexist questions they’ve been asked at job interviews

[Images via David Kaufer and Giphy]

Advertisement