5 Stories
Published in

5 Stories

Meet Meaning-Maker: Jane Evans

Every great story takes a village. Joining ours for Empathy is Jane Evans, founder of Uninvisibility.

Jane is THE embodiment of radical empathy. She created the first ad ever to show a divorced couple. And the first ad to show men doing housework effectively. She also created Australia’s first craft beer. We could go on (and on, and on… she’s that good).

These days, she’s the force behind Uninvisibility — a movement and network that exists to communicate and represent the world’s most powerful consumer group: women over 45. And the really cool thing about Jane is that she’s lived a brilliant life underpinned by empathy, way before it was a buzzword.

AND she’s just released her first book with Carol Russell called, Invisible to Invaluable: Unleashing the Power of Midlife Women. It’s a rallying cry for every single woman on this planet to get behind the power of midlife living and what it means for the future. You’ll get some serious goosebumps and we guarantee you’ll want to slam your hands on the table, stand up and shout, ‘YESSSSS, FINALLY!’. We did.

Let’s get into the convo. Shall we?

So, Jane, you’re in a bar and a founder asks you for practical tips around implementing empathy. What do you tell them?

Employ your mum. Seriously. There should be a mum role in every organisation. If you were a product, how well were you brought to market? Who has had your back all the way along? And how many times was she right?

That doesn’t mean to say that there has to be an actual mum, but in any startup somebody has to take the role of mum. And, frankly, mid-life women have EQ and soft skills in spades.

“Employ your mum. Seriously. There should be a mum role in every organisation.”

If you really want to succeed, hire a woman over 55 — they’ve been proven to be the best bosses. They’re also the only land-based animal that goes through menopause. Every other land-based animal breeds themselves to death. When whales go through menopause, they become leaders of the pods because they’ve got everybody’s best interests at heart.

We should be more like whales.

We often work with founders who perhaps feel empathy can be a little wishy washy or woo-woo for their comms. I mean, it makes sense. For so long, business has been fixated on the bottom line at the cost of much else. What’s your counter-argument?

Be fucking honest. Empathy isn’t sympathy. Empathy is getting down and dirty with people. Empathy is saying: “I know you’re scared, I know you’re frightened, I know you’ve got money problems… what can we do together to help this?” It’s not a case of being a saviour, either.

We need to get down in the trenches with people that are suffering and look at ways of getting them out there. And if you can’t, as a company, recognise that your consumer, whether that be an investment firm with a commercial property or the cleaner that cleans that property, you’ve got to be able to feel their pain. Even if it’s just a slight bit of relief for them. What piece of relief can you give?

This is not the time to be sitting in an ivory tower pontificating. This is the time to be getting down, getting dirty and doing everything you damn well can to help. You do that and the bottom line will take care of itself. Money is energy.

Why do you think now, more than ever, empathy is a non-negotiable for any brand?

There are going to be winners and losers. If we continue with this ‘winner takes all’ attitude, we’re doomed as a society. We have to be sensible about how we spend, what we invest in… we all have to look at ways of being in this together. This is humanity.

We’ve got to show our humanity and our empathy.

(Yeahhhh, WE DO!)

Thanks for being here. We really appreciate you making the time to read this piece 🙏

5 Stories is a storytelling consultancy that helps businesses connect more with the people they exist for. We’ve been growing brands, strengthening teams and shaping strategies for well over a decade.

Everything we do starts with our 5 Stories methodology, made up of your Empathy, Purpose, Product, Origin and Vision Stories. Why? Because we believe stories have more than a beginning, middle and an end. The best stories have heart, courage and honesty, too.

We turn beliefs into messaging, products into powerful words and content into connection. The result? Higher conversion rates, stronger brand awareness and more aligned teams. If you’re interested in working together, we’d love to chat.

Before you go, we’re taking everything we know about brand storytelling and sharing our pro tips in a five-part, super smart content series. Subscribe here (if you haven’t already).

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Amanda Baker

Amanda Baker

Founder & creator of 5 Stories, a methodology I use to help businesses tell stories that connect with people. I write about storytelling and entrepreneurship 💫