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Partner Content

We Are Women at the Heart of Health

It's time we redefine women's health beyond reproductive health, says the MD EMEA Health at Weber Shandwick

By Rachael Pay

Earlier this year, coinciding with International Women’s Day, 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. We have subsequently launched our women’s health offer in APAC and LatAm fuelled by a team of passionate women determined to address the ever-widening gender disparity gap in healthcare affecting 50 per cent of the world’s population, women.

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 takeaways of the report is the fact women have not felt listened to.

As a leading network agency celebrated globally for our expertise in health communications, we have a responsibility to do more and to challenge our clients to do more. Now is the time for a more intentional women’s health action across all areas of the private and public sector including partnership and shared responsibility. Without it the next generation of women are likely to face the same or even worse 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.

Our Women’s Health Indicator has placed data and analytics at the centre of our offer - our most recent analysis looked at Alzheimer’s disease, one of the greatest public health concerns of all time, and the alarming disconnect between prevalence and priority on Alzheimer’s disease in women in Europe and Asia. Women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as men, yet this is not a disease commonly associated with women. Less than nine per cent of all online content on Alzheimer’s disease specifically addresses the needs of women in Europe with less than three per cent addressing women in Asia.

Over the last six months we have delivered industry celebrated campaigns breaking through the silence surrounding menopause in India, Mexico, Brazil and China. We were awarded in Cannes for The Uncover campaign, tackling the stigmatisation of breastfeeding in public and we have focussed the lens of women’s health within every proposal and pitch we have engaged in.

The power of partnership is what will drive the change we need to address the crisis that is women’s health. To help facilitate this we have brought multiple industry partners to the table across three continents through curated conversations challenging the industry to drive creativity and redefine what good looks like in women’s health. An effort that we will expand upon in 2024.

We are women at the heart of health putting our hearts in health and we will continue to drive important conversations with clients and prospects across private and public sectors to create greater equality in healthcare.

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

Rachael Pay is the Managing director, Health EMEA at Weber Shandwick


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