< Back
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.

This made Publicis aware of an unsettling reality. 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 January 2023, The Publicis Foundation set out to change this, with the initiative, Working with Cancer.

At Davos on January 17, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, Working with Cancer launched a pledge rallying some of the world’s most influential companies around the commitment to building the most 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 Workingwithcancerpledge.com. On this platform, each company is able to outline their own commitments to cancer patients in their organisations.

Campaigns followed, spreading awareness throughout Europe and then the US, where Publicis ran its film, Monday, to 123.7 million people.

Working with Cancer has launched now in Asia.

Jolene Huang, Dave Drilon and Dr Kathleen Recto introduced the Publicis Groupe’s Asia mission at ADFEST and its partnership with PMAP, the largest organisation of Talent and HR leaders in the Philippines, and AC Health, the first of many steps to growing the WWC movement in Asia Pacific and making industry-wide and client-wide impact.
Dave Drilon, Chief Digital Officer, Publicis Groups, Philippines provided an overview of Working with Cancer’s aims and achievements so far.  
What does Working with Cancer hope to achieve? 

WWC aims to abolish the insecurity and stigma that exists for people with cancer in the workplace. It advocates to convince companies across the world to stand together to build a more open, supportive, and recovery-focused culture at work for all employees with cancer.

In the Philippines, we want to encourage as many employers as possible to make a commitment to support their employees who have been diagnosed with cancer and require treatment, or who are taking care of someone who has cancer.

This is also our way of supporting the landmark National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA) to help ensure that workers everywhere have access to quality and affordable cancer health services and options to alleviate the financial burdens of treatment and recovery.
What have been Working with Cancer’s achievements so far?
Since launching in Davos in 2023, 1400 companies have signed the pledge, positively impacting the lives of nearly 36 million employees.

Here in the Philippines, Publicis Groupe, the Healthway Cancer Care Hospital, and the People Management Association of the Philippines have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to build up advocacy by talking directly to the HR leaders of the top companies in the country. In 3 months, we have raised awareness of the program by participating in various industry conferences. 
Why did you get involved? What does it mean to you?

I think it’s time that companies wake up to the reality that grave diseases like cancer have become more commonplace and are now affecting even the youngest members of our organizations. The world is an unhealthier place, and workplace stress is contributing to this toxicity.

The logical approach is that we should focus on prevention — always the best strategy to prevent a crisis — but the reality is that people are getting sick today. 

So, while we always ask our people to be committed to our companies and to do the best work they can, as employers, we should remember that we in turn have a commitment to their well-being and a responsibility to support them when their health is compromised.

24 March, 2024            
For all the latest ADFEST news, subscribe to ADFESTbuzz :