working with cancer pledge and leading by example

It was a warm June day in 2020, and my close friend Annie was crying – her dad had cancer. He’d expectedly lost some weight after weight loss surgery, so he didn’t think it was concerning when it kept happening. And then came the diagnosis – Esophageal cancer, and according to, has an overall five-year survival rate for esophageal cancer of about 20%, but survival rates can range from 5% to 47%. Worse, it was Stage IV and by the next month had spread. Annie’s dad passed away that December,

Cancer statistics are depressing – while final numbers aren’t available, the American Cancer Society estimates that 1.2 million people were projected to die from cancer in 2022. One of those diagnosed with cancer and detected early was Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO, Arthur Saudon. who is using his experience to create a social legacy.

Publicis Sapient recently announced the Working with Cancer initiative, the first of its kind – that provides certain guarantees to employers affected by cancer. AdWeek described the Publicis’ pledge and details about the four prongs for employees:

  • secure the job and salary of any Publicis Groupe employee suffering from cancer for at least a year.
  • will provide personalized career support as employees return to work during and after their treatments.
  • Impacted employees will receive access to a group of properly trained peers to create an internal community of support.
  • Any employees taking on a caregiver role for a cancer patient in their immediate family will receive more flexibility and custom support.

The Publicis Groupe is taking it a step further – with the Working with Cancer Pledge – coordinating with other companies to have them implement the same pledge, provide guarantees to their employees that cancer will not also affect their livelihood.

Many companies make diversity hires for better public images, only to have internal policies that don’t align. Kudos to the Publicis Groupe for doing good for their employees, for leading by example, and challenging other major companies to join them.

%d bloggers like this: