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Publicis Foundation launches ‘Working With Cancer’ to erase the stigma of cancer in the workplace

This pledge will be amplified by a campaign titled ‘Work/Life’ - that illustrates what cancer patients go through when they hide their condition from their colleagues

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Publicis Foundation has announced that it is launching a cross-industry coalition to erase the stigma of cancer in the workplace.

The Foundation said it is being supported by leading cancer charities and organisations including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (MSK), Macmillan Cancer Support and the Gustave Roussy Institute.  

In April 2022, Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun was diagnosed and treated for cancer. After making his condition public, he received thousands of testimonies that exposed the fear those with cancer experienced, not only for their lives, but also for their jobs. 

Those messages reflected an unsettling reality that Working with Cancer aims to address: 50% of cancer patients are afraid to tell their employer about their diagnosis, despite 92% feeling that support at work positively impacts their health.

In partnership with the World Economic Forum, Working with Cancer launched a pledge in Davos on January 17 rallying some of the world’s most influential companies around the commitment to building an open, supportive and recovery-forward work cultures for their employees. 

It invites every business, big and small, across the globe to join the movement at On this platform, each company will be able to outline their own commitments to cancer patients in their organisation. 

Publicis’ specific pledge includes providing cancer patients with full job security for at least one year, and bringing the necessary career support not only for them, but also for caregivers in the organisation. 

This pledge will be amplified by a campaign titled ‘Work/Life’ - that illustrates what cancer patients go through when they hide their condition from their colleagues.  

At launch, Working with Cancer already has the support of global organisations including Abbvie, Adobe, AXA, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, BT, Carrefour, Citi, Disney, EE, Google, Haleon, L’Oréal, Lloyd’s, LVMH, Marriott, McDonald’s, Meta, Mondelez, Microsoft, MSD, Nestlé, Orange, Omnicom, Pepsico, Reckitt, Renault Group, Sanofi, Toyota, Unilever, Verizon, and Walmart.    

For World Cancer Day on February 4, Working with Cancer will launch a mass media wakeup call to encourage everyone to play their part in supporting their colleagues with cancer. To ensure this call will be heard by all, it will be backed by a campaign and $100 million in media that has been donated by partners around the world. 

Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Groupe, said, “It is a tough reality, but whether directly or indirectly, every one of us will have to confront cancer in our lives and in our workplaces. Companies have a key role to play in that. Working with Cancer is an increasingly important initiative, on a front that many businesses are already invested in. By making their existing efforts more accessible and visible, together we can reduce the anxiety and stigma of cancer in the workplace and positively impact our people’s health. Through a truly collaborative approach, a light lift from everyone becomes deep and lasting impact for cancer patients at work.”

Selwyn M Vickers, FACS, President and CEO of MSK, said, “MSK is proud to be a founding partner of Working With Cancer, and also to take this important pledge. As clinicians, scientists, and staff committed to caring for as well as treating people with cancer, we know the toll that cancer can have on patients and their families. Taking collective action to normalise the conversation around cancer in the workplace is imperative to help people feel supported as they experience their cancer journey.”

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