Moving women to the heart of health 

This week, we announced the launch of a bespoke women’s health offer across the Weber Shandwick Collective in EMEA, the next step in our commitment to health equity and meeting the needs of underserved patient populations.  While it is empowering and exciting to be driving forward with an incredible group of passionate women, determined to be a catalyst for change in health communications, there is also something bittersweet in all this and, that is, despite all the progress in gender equality in the past few years, this offer is needed.


Women’s health still faces huge gaps in research, education, funding, and innovation.  Last year, the UK Government announced plans for its first-ever Women’s Health Strategy in England with the confronting admission that women have been forced to navigate a health system historically designed by men for men.  Underpinning the strategy are the insights gleaned from a listening exercise involving over 100,000 women – one of the overarching take aways of the report is the fact women have not felt listened to.


The report is a heavy read and critics have questioned whether it has gone far enough.  Yes, it is a start. A long overdue one, but already the government has rejected a proposal from the Woman and Equalities Committee to introduce menopause leave pilots in England on the grounds it would “avoid the risk of duplication of efforts” based on the workplace policies introduced by many organisations.


It seems that if now isn’t the turning point for a fairer and more intentional women’s health action across all areas of private and public sector including partnership and shared responsibility, our daughters and nieces are all too likely to face the same realities that we face.  Living longer, but more likely to live with illness or disability; experiencing more adverse drug reactions than men, struggling to find information bespoke to women, speaking up but not feeling heard.


And while it is widely recognised that reproductive and maternal health must be a priority so too are many other areas of health.  Women’s health should not be considered in the most niche of definitions. From a communications perspective it is critical that the very definition of women’s health is redefined and goes beyond reproductive health.  Women are four times more likely to develop an autoimmune disorder than men; women are much more likely to die within a year of having experienced a heart attack, stroke is the second most common cause of death in women and affects more women than men.  If we are to meet the unmet health needs of women, we must put women in the centre of health – all health.


As we came together across multiple agencies to define The Weber Shandwick Collective: Women’s Health offer what I soon realised is that every one of us wants a better experience, a better understanding of the diseases and conditions that impact women greatly or manifest differently.


We want to address the inequalities and barriers that for some of us shortened the lives of our own mothers, sisters, girlfriends.  Quite simply, we want to play an active role in building healthier futures for all women and we want to get this conversation started with clients and future clients across all areas of business.


We are women at the heart of health putting our hearts in health.


If you are interested in finding out more, please reach out to me at