SheSays, the non-profit organisation championing gender equality in the creative industries, has partnered with JCDecaux Community Channel to launch a nationwide ‘Believe Their Pain’ campaign to raise awareness of the thousands of women and non-binary people who are living with hidden illnesses and disabilities in the creative industry.
Research conducted by SheSays found that 83% of women and non-binary people hide their pain.
Mental health and neurodiverse were the highest conditions that people were hiding, with 62% doing so due to fear of judgement and prejudice at work and 52% believing it could limit promotion or opportunities at work if employers found out.
The bold and honest campaign uses shocking statistics and real quotes, such as “You don’t look sick” and ‘1 in 2 women feel their pain was dismissed because of their gender’ to highlight the misconception around hidden conditions. The aim of the creative is to help those living with a hidden health challenge feel seen and understood and to educate employers, so they realise what many people in their businesses are dealing with. By opening the lines of communication for employees to feel safe to talk about their hidden illness or disability, these invisible barriers can be removed.
The campaign can be seen at 250 digital sites across the UK, which could include premium sites such as the M4 Torch, Shoreditch Showcase, and Marylebone Tower.
Recent research by Harvard Business Review found that managers that were empathetic and willing to listen to their team member’s experiences and accommodate their requests were more successful leaders and the teams reported a 63% increase in well-being and 71% increase in engagement compared to the average. SheSays has created a dedicated resources page to support the campaign for those with a hidden illness or disability as well as employers to use. It includes three simple steps to start taking positive actions around a hidden health impairment: Believe them, Educate yourself and Advocate for them.
Amy Dick, UK President of SheSays, said: “We created this campaign with compassion and empathy, drawing on many people’s lived experiences, to raise awareness of what thousands of people feel the need to hide daily. Nobody’s pain should go unnoticed or unsupported. Thanks to our OOH campaign with JCDecaux’s Community Channel we will be bringing this important message to people across the UK. Our campaign and the resources that we’ve created aims to help people with hidden health conditions and the people around them to better understand their colleagues. We also hope businesses will make positive steps to adapt so processes are in place for both physiologically and psychologically safe conversations to happen. All these actions will benefit both employees and employers.”
Chris Dooley, Head of Social Impact at JCDecaux UK said: “JCDecaux Community Channel is proud to support this SheSays campaign. Using the public screen of Out-of-Home, SheSays will bring this message to audiences across the nation. Our JCDecaux Community Channel was launched to open up access to Out-of-Home to communities and charitable initiatives and I look forward to seeing this campaign up on the streets.”
SheSays’ ‘Believe Their Pain’ campaign, in partnership with JCDecaux Community Channel, will run until Sunday 1 October.