Showpony Adelaide MD steps back to GM

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 27 February 2024
Sophie Allchurch

Sophie Allchurch, general manager at Showpony Adelaide, has stepped down from the role of managing director after three years to become general manager.

Allchurch told AdNews she made the decision to step back for family reasons.

Supported by the agency's leadership, Allchurch now has reduced hours to do school pick-ups with no impact externally or to the day-to-day running of the Adelaide office.

Allchurch initially broke the news on LinkedIn and told AdNews she has since been inundated with messages of support from clients, competitors, former colleagues and other people who are celebrating flexibility and family.

"One of my priorities has been to help build Showpony’s culture of flexibility, where we recognise the importance of work/life balance," Allchurch said.

"So many of our 40-something staff now have varied schedules that it’s hard to keep track! Mums leaving early, Dads starting late, people taking time out to study, WFH Wednesdays - it’s organised chaos that reflects the demands of modern life.

"Thankfully, flexibility is now so well established that I’m able to take advantage of it now, when my family needs a bit more of me." 

Showpony is not currently looking to replace the role but said maybe in the future.

Jamie Scott continues as group managing director, supported by general managers in each of the agency's three offices.

Parris Mesidis, Showpony co-founder and executive creative director, said to retain talented people like Sophie, it’s critical that a business has the foresight and flexibility to accommodate their evolving circumstances. 

"As we move through life it’s natural that our priorities shift. Many of our people measure their tenure with Showpony in terms of decades! That’s born of a culture that understands the value of talent and continuity," Mesidis told AdNews.

Allchurch said she is excited for this next chapter professionally, and also personally to have the family life that’s important to her and her husband.

"Thank you to my business partners, Jamie Scott, Parris Mesidis, Matthew Basso and Sheree Holly for your support, and to Rory Kennett-Lister and Laura Prior who manage the Adelaide office with me," Allchurch said.

"Finally, I just want to say that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ for any of this. This is not me passing judgement on mums (or dads for that matter) who work full time. This is just me doing what’s right for my unique configuration of career ambition, two young kids and a husband who travels internationally for his work.

"Because let’s be honest - we’re all just working it out as we go, taking it day by day, hoping one of the kids doesn’t sneeze… I hope this will be seen as a positive story about personal choice and being supported to do what feels right at a particular stage in life."

The agency is also undergoing White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation and has a new paid maternity leave policy in place. 

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