Posted: May 11, 2006
Beth Fidoten '77 recently received an Advertising Working Mothers of the Year award from Advertising Women of New York and Working Mothermagazine. She is senior vice president and director of print services for Initiative, a multibillion dollar, multinational media service company. She works and lives in New York City.
Fidoten, mother of Daniel, age 5, and ten-year-old twins Jacob and Annie Rose, works full-time. "It's pretty standard in the advertising business," she said. "I went back to work full-time after my maternity leaves." A typical work week runs around 50 hours. "It's never nine to five, though."
A supportive work environment is one key to Fidoten's success as a working mother. She credits Initiative's Global Chief Executive Officer, Alec Gerster, with being "very supportive of working women with kids and also of working dads." It helps that Fidoten loves her work. "I have a passion for magazines. It's so much fun every day, the work I do. The people are wonderful and amazingly creative." Fidoten also believes that the intellectual curiosity that Mount Holyoke sparked has contributed to her success and happiness. "I'm lucky to be in an industry that makes me a lifelong learner," she said. Among other things, Fidoten is responsible for the Red Dress sponsorship program, which raises awareness of heart disease as the number-one killer of women. She also coauthored and presented a landmark piece of marketing research titled "Self, Defined for the New Millennium, the Self-Trusting Woman."
Equally important is the support from Fidoten's family. "My kids are such New York City kids. It's been very positive for them that I work. My family keeps me going." Her husband is also in advertising. "We're an advertising family," she said.
An art major at Mount Holyoke, Fidoten said she spent "100 percent of my time in the Art Building." She maintains close connections with the MHC art department and is a member of the Director's Circle of the College's Art Museum. She manages to make time in her busy life for her painting. In 1996 she had an exhibition of her work.
Fidoten keeps in touch with a close group of friends from her MHC days, many of whom are also working mothers. "We always took it for granted that we'd be working. Looking back on our personalities at college--what we were interested in--it makes sense what we're all doing now."
MHC Art & Art History