Virgo London launches gender neutral family leave, plus women’s health policies

By Rebecca Hall, Group HR Director 

It’s no secret that women’s careers are impacted by starting a family, but there are many areas of women’s health and women’s lives that can contribute to a lack of career equity. That’s why today I’m pleased to announce Golin London and Virgo Health’s enhanced gender-neutral, family friendly leave, as well as our newly-updated women’s health policies.  

The comprehensive new programme of policies focusses on supporting women’s wellbeing through key life moments, tackling taboos, as well as to helping mothers and fathers to build a more equitable share of the care as they start their path as a family.  All policies were carefully developed in consultation with stakeholders from across the business, including our DEI Director and our employee relationship groups for working mothers and the LGBTQIA+ community.


Our new gender-neutral policy on family friendly leave enables parents to benefit from two options for leave, depending on whether you are the primary or secondary caregiver. This policy is inclusive of whether the child may be yours or your partner’s child, adopted, or a surrogate child. We are also enhancing our family friendly pay up to six months full pay for our employees who are primary caregivers, regardless of gender, and 6 weeks paid leave for secondary careers. We’ve mirrored this in our Shared Parental Leave pay. 

We also updated our women’s health policies to empower our people to ask for the help they need in key life stages or if affected by women’s health conditions. One in 10 women live with difficult and painful symptoms from endometriosis, 1 in 4 women have left jobs due to feeling unwell due to menopause, and many women don’t feel supported or able to talk up in the workplace about difficult life moments around fertility, pregnancy loss and gynaecological health. Our suite of menopause, fertility, period and pregnancy loss policies, alongside our new partnership with The Eve Appeal which focuses on gynaecological health, aim to help build greater awareness and support for women’s health in the workplace.  


Our first new policy focuses on giving those experiencing the menopause the help and time they need to look after themselves, as well as knowledge and education for colleagues and line managers to ensure we collectively know how best to support each other.  The policy includes ten additional days paid leave for anyone experiencing the menopause, or for those supporting a friend or family member experiencing it.  


We are also introducing a menstruation policy to assist employees suffering from symptoms, or those with conditions such as Endometriosis, Dysmenorrhea, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to name a few. We recognise that this can really impact our employees and our policy allows employees to take up to ten additional days paid leave to take some time out to focus on their wellbeing.  


We are also introducing a fertility policy, offering those going through fertility treatment, or supporting someone going through treatment, ten additional days paid leave. This is alongside a policy offering support and additional time, for anyone tragically impacted by pregnancy or baby loss.   


Through our partnership with the Eve Appeal, we also commit to being flexible and understanding, to breaking the taboos that exist around gynae health and creating a workplace that encourages women to attend life-saving screening appointments. To ensure we are raising awareness and guiding colleagues and line managers in how to support each other, each new policy will be accompanied by specific line management toolkits as well as workshops and webinars for employees. 

Virgo Health wins Agency of the Year at PRWeek Healthcare Awards

We are absolutely over the moon to share that Virgo has just won Agency of the Year at the PRWeek Healthcare& Pharma Comms Awards.

Up against seven other shortlisted healthcare agencies, the write up says it all: ‘Truly innovative and creative thinking that’s kept its culture as vibrant as ever in a virtual world. By living and breathing its values Virgo Health continues to thrive, unlocking unprecedented growth, developing new client relationships and cementing existing ones, all while putting its people and their wellbeing first to create a true agency for the future.’

We couldn’t be prouder of this amazing team, very single person has contributed to our incredible success, creative work and growth this year helping make Virgo the very best it can be.

Here’s to a brilliant team and an even better 2022!

Virgo sparks | creativity with | Go All Outside

As the UK Government encourages workers back into the office, we want our people get back outside and get inspired, not just back into the building. So today we’re launching Go All Outside, a programme designed to do just that.

Every fortnight for the next six months, two people at Virgo Health and Golin will receive an extra two days off and an expenses-paid trip of their choice with a friend or partner. The only condition is to do something that inspires their curiosity.

“Go All Outside is about helping our people to connect with the world again and inspire their curiosity. We want to encourage the team to explore new places and those they’ve missed, meet new people and connect with old friends, be inspired and inspire others,” said Ondine Whittington, Golin and Virgo Health MD.

“Curiosity and creativity is vital in the PR industry, but lockdown undoubtedly impaired our ability to nurture curiosity. Go All Outside gives our team a chance to reenergise, but also critically to find inspiration in new places and people that will inspire creativity in our work for our clients.” Whittington added.

To receive the trip team members will nominate their colleagues who are going above and beyond in their work or in their teams, acts of kindness and support, and making the agency and our work better through teaching and inspiring others.

“Lockdown has given us the opportunity to reimagine how, when and where we work, Go All Outside is part of a whole new approach to how we thrive as a team to deliver the best work of our lives for our clients. As we begin the next phase of this journey, the goal is to ensure our people feel happy, refreshed and inspired about how we come back into the world as an agency,” said Rebecca Hall, Group HR Director.

CooperVision | awards account | to Virgo Health | and IPG Team

We’re delighted to share the news that we’ve won a three-way, competitive pitch to support CooperVision with an IPG media agency and sister agency Golin. CooperVision is one of the largest manufacturers of contact lenses in the world and we’ll be working with them on a behaviour-change campaign to raise consumer awareness of myopia (short-sightedness) in children. By 2050, 50% of the global population will develop myopia, but it is manageable.

The three agencies worked as an integrated team to respond to CooperVision’s purpose-led brief, combining their expertise in consumer communications, healthcare and paid media to deliver a scalable, earned-first creative concept to drive awareness of myopia and increase enquiries about myopia management in the UK. The team also delivered an above the line brand identity and digital advertising plan for Brilliant Futures™ with MiSight® 1 day contact lenses, which are proven to slow the progression of myopia.

Golin and Virgo Health will lead earned strategy, creative, consumer public relations and influencer engagement. Reprise will support across paid social channels, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Virgo Health will also work with eye care practitioners (ECPs) to raise awareness of the campaign and further increase discussions about myopia management.

Mark Draper, Director of Marketing and National Accounts at CooperVision, said“CooperVision is committed to helping people around the world see better every day. Traditional vision correction can help children see clearly, but it can’t help to slow the progression of their myopia. That’s why we’re so proud of Brilliant Futures™ with MiSight® 1 day and the impact it can have on improving children’s lives and helping them achieve their future ambitions. The IPG team completely understood our purpose and primary ambition to increase awareness of myopia resulting in a change in behaviour. They impressed us with a fantastic pitch and killer creative concept, coupled with a smart and well-considered approach to rolling out our campaign.”

Natasha Weeks, Executive Director and Consumer Health lead, Golin and Virgo Health, said: “The CooperVision brief is the kind that truly energised and excited our team. With our integrated offering it hit our sweet spot perfectly of hard-hitting health combined with culturally-relevant consumer creativity, and we loved unpicking the insights and triggers that will ensure parents take action. At a time when maintaining public health is so essential, the whole team is passionate about the difference we can make with CooperVision. Parents wouldn’t think twice about taking their children for regular dental check-ups, and with products like Brilliant Futures™ with MiSight® 1 day that can slow the progression of myopia, children’s eye tests should be just as much a priority.”