We are all heartbroken watching war take place. Acts of aggression by one leader, whilst…
Over the years I’ve found so much joy in empowering others and helping them achieve their business goals with their marketing comms and PR.
I’ve realised over the years that we all work quite differently – not only are our business models different but also are our own styles and preferences when it comes to working.
So what happens when other factors out of your control impact the way you work?
Women’s Health In Business
We already know that women in business are massively under-represented at board level and in industries, even though they make up 47% of the workforce.
As well as fighting for representation, equality, and inclusion it seems women have other issues inhibiting their success – one that’s too easily swept or pushed away.
I was shocked to read that female health challenges are causing more than three million women to leave employment costing businesses invaluable talent. (Source: Reward and Benefits Association).
One million women have left a job because of period-related problems becoming unmanageable at work.
Destigmatizing issues and opening up uncomfortable conversations are never easy, but imperative to find solutions and instill better support and practices.
It’s been encouraging to watch the conversation around menopause open up over the recent years and how this is infiltrating internal comms within businesses and organizations.
As businesses, we also need to acknowledge and support conditions such as PCOS, Fibroids, and Endometriosis that are affecting your intern to your CEO just as much.
Health issues affecting people assigned female at birth can impact lives far earlier and better understanding can lead to more supportive solutions for both the employer and employee.
Let’s Get Talking
March is Endometriosis Action Month and on Small Business Chat, we’re shining a light on this condition in part 1 of our series on Women’s Health in Business.
I share a part of my own story here as a business owner, to encourage others to take ownership of their own health but it’s not easy.
I started experiencing health issues in 2018, and in 2019 I was floored. I couldn’t work for five months. Chronic fatigue, brain fog, pain – I had a host of symptoms and earlier this year, after a lot of pushing, I finally received my diagnosis of endometriosis. More details on this condition to come, but I’m one of the ‘lucky’ ones. I only got my diagnosis this year after pushing for answers, and that’s because friends and family shared information they thought could help.
It is imperative to push for the help you need, and most of all, deserve, and also to help others who are also being forced to suffer in silence.
As an employer, co-working, colleague – here are some shocking stats and facts you need to know:
- 1.5 million people assigned female at birth are currently living with endometriosis (1 in 10 people).
- Endometriosis is one of the most painful conditions listed by the NHS – it is incurable and a registered disability.
- It’s a full-body condition, triggered by hormones, and tissue growth is found on key organs such as the brain, lungs, bowel, bladder, and ovaries, often fusing organs together.
- Symptoms include heavy blood loss, pain, nausea, chronic fatigue, impacting bladder and bowel function, and fertility.
- There are only 200 specialists worldwide who can recognize, diagnose and manage the condition effectively.
- Meanwhile, the medical gaslighting, and medical trauma experienced, along with relentless symptoms and pain can lead to depression, even suicide.
- Young girls as young as 9 can experience these symptoms yet be dismissed for decades and not receive the help they need.
- The average diagnosis takes 8 years.
- Everybody’s body is different – like most medical practices the one size fits all approach can often cause more damage, but the current prognosis is surgery and for some, this can take place every two years.
- It’s not ‘just a period’, and whilst sufferers may not sound or look sick, this invisible condition takes its toll on their physical, emotional, financial, and mental health.
- Endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of work, and healthcare costs which call for earlier diagnosis, access to treatment, and better support.
You can watch Small Business Chat here:
Advice For My Fellow Endo Warriors
I share my story here to help you.
We can’t do this alone, so find your support group, find your business buddies, learn to work in a way that’s supportive of you and your condition.
I’ve had the incredible support of my family, friends, and community to help me whilst I run my business. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them.
Despite the challenges, I’ve managed to change the business model and the way I work for the better. Fellow business owners, don’t allow this disease to make you believe you can’t possibly succeed. Yes, we have different challenges, yet we learn to work smarter with flexibility and creativity.
Most of all your health is your greatest wealth, continue to push and ask for answers and don’t settle for less to help you live your life.
Resources To Help
If you’re an employer, co-worker, or know someone that is or could be impacted, please check out the resources available here.
Follow their channels to learn more about the initiatives, campaigns, and resources available during March and beyond.
Other sources/support I found useful include:
Follow on IG
Groups in Facebook
For many, their reality is just not as easy, and I hope by sharing this, you can help by being an ally.
Thank you for your time.