Welsh Government becomes the first UK public body to sign our Pledge To Be Seen commitment

Welsh Government has signed up to our Pledge To Be Seen campaign to ensure equal representation for people with visible differences and disfigurements across Wales.

We are delighted to announce that following Face Equality Week, Welsh Government has signed up to our Pledge To Be Seen campaign. They are the first UK public body to make the commitment.

Pledge To Be Seen was launched to ensure that people with a visible difference, such as a scar, mark or condition that affects their appearance, are seen and heard across mainstream culture and in the workplace.

Our campaign calls on brands, companies and organisations to sign up and commit to representing more people with a visible difference. Make-up brand Avon was the first business to sign up in 2019.

As the father of a daughter with a visible difference, it means a tremendous amount to me that my own organisation, a large and important employer in the Welsh Public Sector, has made this commitment to raising awareness and improving representation for people with visible difference in its campaigns.

Robin Bradfield, Former TUS Chair

Catrin Pugh, Changing Faces ambassador, says: “As a proud Welsh woman with a visible difference, I am delighted that the Welsh Government is leading the way as the first public body in the UK to commit to Changing Faces’ Pledge To Be Seen campaign. We need to celebrate difference and challenge stereotypes so people with scars, marks and conditions, no longer experience discrimination and prejudice.

“It’s right that people with visible differences see themselves represented in job adverts, in brand marketing or in public information campaigns. I’m looking forward to supporting Changing Faces in their work with the Welsh Civil Service to bring about positive change for anyone with a visible difference living or working in Wales.”

A woman in a black top smiles at the camera and holds up a lipstick.

Catrin modelling for an Avon campaign (Photo credit: Avon UK)

In a joint effort, Minister for Social Justice and Welsh Government Permanent Secretary Dame Shan Morgan along with its partner trade unions, Prospect Union, FDA and PCS, have committed to the pledge ensuring Welsh Government lead the way on equal representation within the Civil Service and across public services.

Catherine Deakin, Deputy Chief Executive, Changing Faces says: “People with a visible difference have to deal with stares, comments and bullying because of how they look. They tell us that they feel excluded and isolated from public life, rarely seeing anyone who looks like them in the media, adverts and brand campaigns.

“We are delighted that the Welsh Government signed up to our Pledge To Be Seen campaign during Face Equality Week. They have made a real commitment to better represent people with visible differences across their communications and publicly share the news of their pledge. Importantly they are going to raise awareness amongst those who work for the Welsh Government about the prejudice and discrimination that those with visible differences still face today. We hope that other public bodies and businesses will follow their example, supporting anyone with a visible difference to live the life they want to lead.”

Almost one in five people in the UK identify as having a visible difference such as a scar, mark or condition that affects their appearance. A research report from Changing Faces, My Visible Difference (PDF), found that one in three (29%) people say that they feel depressed, sad or anxious as a result of having a visible difference. Six in ten (58%) people with a visible difference report they have experienced hostile behaviour from strangers. Whilst two in five (40%) say that they have felt judged by potential employers and that they have not applied to certain roles because of their appearance (41%).

As a proud Welsh woman with a visible difference, I am delighted that the Welsh Government is leading the way as the first public body in the UK to commit to Changing Faces’ Pledge To Be Seen campaign.

Catrin Pugh, Changing Faces Ambassador

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt says:

“Our commitment to ensuring we create a fairer and more equal Wales is clear. That’s why it’s so important for us to back campaigns for more equal representation across our public services and I’m delighted to back the Pledge To Be Seen campaign by Changing Faces. I want to pay tribute to the fantastic work of our Trade Union colleagues in Prospect, FDA and the PCS in pushing this commitment forward.”

Permanent Secretary for the Welsh Government Dame Shan Morgan says:

“It’s important to ensure that our Welsh Civil Service is truly representative of the people we serve. We’re proud of our diversity, proud of our commitment to equality and proud to be an inclusive organization. As part of our commitment we will be running a session for staff together with Changing Faces to raise awareness of the experiences of people with visible difference and identifying how we can improve representation of visible difference in our campaigns. I’m delighted to be leading the way as the first public body in Wales to sign the Pledge To Be Seen.”

A woman with shoulder length blonde hair and wearing a black and white blouse and blazer smiles with a closed mouth

Permanent Secretary for the Welsh Government Dame Shan Morgan

Robin Bradfield, Former TUS Chair says:

“Having brought this campaign to the attention of Welsh Government and my Trade Union colleagues, I’d like to say thank you to PCS, Prospect and FDA for their support and to WG for signing the pledge.

As the father of a daughter with a visible difference, it means a tremendous amount to me that my own organisation, a large and important employer in the Welsh Public Sector, has made this commitment to raising awareness and improving representation for people with visible difference in its campaigns.  I sincerely hope that the Welsh Government’s leadership on this issue will encourage other organisations in Wales to consider signing this important pledge.”

Organisations and businesses that sign the Pledge To Be Seen campaign commit to publicly sharing the news of their pledge; representing more people with a visible difference in their campaigns (including advertising, PR and recruitment) over the next 12 months; and communicating about their pledge internally as part of their commitment to being an inclusive workplace.

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Pledge To Be Seen campaign

Many people with a visible difference feel that people who look different are ignored by brands. Find out more about our campaign to change this.