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FemTech panel discussion: Empowering women through impactful marketing campaigns


With FemTech brands front and center in the fight to close the healthcare gender gap, we hear from three women’s health experts about barriers, opportunities, and the role brands play.

It’s no secret that women’s health issues often take a backseat, not just at home and in the workplace, but within the healthcare system, too. This gender bias is evidenced in multiple facets.

For example, a gender pain gap has been uncovered in studies that show bias against women in treatment for chronic pain, and there is a relative lack of research funding in female-dominant diseases with a disproportionate share of resources allocated to diseases primarily affecting men. While women experience similar health issues as men, their symptoms can vary greatly. Women also suffer from some very distinct issues, including problems surrounding menstruation, fertility, and menopause, many of which are not taken seriously by others in their lives, personally and medically.

The gender health gap between men and women looking to understand their biology and access care creates multiple barriers for the latter when seeking healthcare, from seeing the right specialist to receiving the correct diagnosis and accessing the ideal treatment. These barriers are compounded for many women who fall into intersectional subgroups, for example, those in marginalized groups who may face cultural challenges or further access issues. But all of these barriers create opportunities for companies that are willing to step up and pay attention to women’s health.

We interviewed Hayley Zismer, Senior Director, Brand Strategy; Allison Shulow, Group Creative Director; and Natasha Patel, Managing Consultant to learn about how the healthcare technology industry can better meet women’s unmet needs with empowering campaigns.

Can you tell us about your experience working in women’s health issues and what drives you to want to advocate for women’s healthcare?

Hayley Zismer, Senior Director, Brand Strategy: I’ve spent my career working in the medical space. For about 12 years, I was on the medical device and technology client side, and in 2021, I shifted to focusing on strategy for our clients. One thing that I love is that we have a range of clients that directly work in women’s health. Working with these clients has included campaigns focusing on restoring sensation after mastectomy, tackling more intimate conditions like pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence, and providing solutions to mothers at one of the most important times of their lives.

All these client campaigns are very different, but one of the threads that really connects all women’s health brands is this need to show women they’re worth it. As a strategist digging into consumer insights in the healthcare space, I notice a recurring theme among women: I often hear comments like “I don’t have time” or “it’s not that bad,” or “I can just live with it.” And personally, I get it. As a working mom with a career, a five-year-old, a two-year-old, a husband, a home, a life… as hard as I may try to prioritize myself, I know that I often come last. I love the healthcare space and I love marketing, but I also see myself in so many of these women and the brands that create products for them. That’s a big driver for me.


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