SheSays urges industry to ‘Believe Their Pain’ 

83% of women and non-binary people hide their pain at work

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 wellbeing 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 starting with: Believe them; Educate yourself; and Advocate for them. 

SheSays Believe Their Pain campaign will run until Sunday 1st October. 

Featured image: Believe Their Pain campaign / SheSays in collaboration with JCDecaux Community Channel