As some of you know, a close family member of mine was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. While this cause was already near and dear to my heart, with several of our own employees being breast cancer survivors, having a family member diagnosed with this horrible disease made it even more important for me to support the awareness, research and prevention of this disease.
As business leaders serving the IT community, we hold a unique position. We have extensive technology at our fingertips, as well as the ability to influence workplace practices. This is a powerful combination. During my 12 years leading Channel Impact, I’ve learned five lessons for how I can shape the culture of my company to provide the best support for women and their families battling breast cancer.
- Offer Options: When people are diagnosed with breast cancer sometimes they want to keep working. For some women, maintaining their career allows them to keep a sense of normalcy, and control, while battling this disease. Don’t assume that because someone has cancer, that they don’t want to work. It’s their choice. As employers, it’s our job to support their choice.
- Utilize Technology: Help your employees set up a home office that allows them to work throughout each phase of their cancer treatment. With a laptop, VPN, cloud based collaboration tools and file sharing, a woman can comfortably work from home—and be equally productive.
- Some people want to keep it private: Not every woman wants others to know she has cancer. It’s their news to share, not ours. If you have an employee with cancer, and she wants to keep working, set her up with a great home office and allow her to share the news if she chooses.
- Flex time: As employers, we must offer flex time so women can go through treatments, attend doctor’s and preventative care appointments, and be there to support their families. Life is seldom 9am-5pm. And with today’s technology, working remotely and staying in touch is so easy. Personally, I take a day off every three weeks to be by my family member’s side during chemotherapy. With flex time, I am able to attend her doctor appointments, treatments and generally help out as needed.
- Giving Back: Don’t just “talk the talk.” You have the power to show your employees that you support the fight against cancer and give back—generously.
One of our amazing employees, founded the nonprofit Notes4Hope. This year’s Notes4Hope concert, featuring Mat Kearney, will be October 14th at the California Shakespeare-Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda, CA. Channel Impact has invited our employees to attend, and we hope you will as well!! The Notes4Hope concerts are a ton a fun!!
In this blog series, we’ll do a deeper drive into the topics of giving back and enabling remote workers. We’d love to have you join in the conversation and share your thoughts and experiences on the topic.