Publicis Foundation has unveiled a program called Working With Cancer, designed to erase the stigma of cancer in the workplace. In Davos today, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, Working With Cancer announced a pledge drive urging companies across the industry to commit to supporting cancer patients in their organizations.
The impetus for the effort was Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun’s own cancer diagnosis and treatment last year for cancer. After making his condition public he received thousands of testimonies that exposed the fear that many patients have not just for their lives but for their jobs as well.
The company noted that research from the American Cancer Society has indicated that half of cancer patients are afraid to tell their employer about their diagnosis despite 92% feeling that support at work positively impacts their health.
The Working With Cancer Pledge invites businesses worldwide to pledge their support for employees battling the disease. A platform has been created where companies can make their pledge and spell out their commitments.
Publicis Groupe’s commitment includes securing the job and salary of employees suffering from cancer for at least one year. There’s also personalized career support including access to trained volunteers inside the company.
Also, employees in a caregiver role for a cancer patient in their immediate family receive support including work-time flexibility.
The effort launches with commitments from a number of global companies including Omnicom, Walmart, Google, Disney, Toyota, Adobe, Abbvie, L’Oreal, Nestle, McDonald’s and others.
The Publicis Foundation also has the support of leading cancer organizations for the effort including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Macmillan Cancer Research and the Gustave Roussy Institute.
On Feb. 4 (World Cancer Day) Working with Cancer will launch a mass media campaign to support the initiative backed by $100 million in media that has been donated by partners around the world. The campaign is being developed by LeTruc, Starcom and others.
Calling it a “tough reality,” Sadoun noted that everyone will confront cancer at some point “in our lives and in our workplaces.” Companies can help by making their efforts more “accessible and visible,” to reduce the anxiety and stigma in the workplace. “Through a truly collaborative approach, a light lift from everyone becomes a deep and lasting impact for cancer patients at work.”