Fast Company Guest Article
WellTheory’s founder and CEO, Ellen Rudolph, has penned a guest article for Fast Company, one of the world’s leading media publications focused on business, technology, and innovation, with over 8 million readers per month.
In Ellen’s piece, she sheds light on the prevalence of autoimmune disease, and how it affects the United States workforce. An estimated 50 million Americans have at least one autoimmune disease, which is around 15% of the US workforce, but the majority of employers remain in the dark about this growing epidemic.
An autoimmune patient herself, Ellen shares her own diagnosis story, and explores the possibility that the recent workplace phenomenon of “quiet quitting” – employees displaying behaviors such as disengagement, low energy, and reduced productivity – may actually be symptoms of a hidden physical health condition; namely autoimmune disease.
She provides a number of alarming statistics around autoimmune conditions which she hopes will serve as a wake up call for employers to finally take notice of them. In particular, autoimmune disease represents an enormous (and overlooked) cost for businesses, and they severely affect employees’ quality of life and prevent them from bringing their full selves to work – even if they don’t “look” like they’re sick. Moreover, since 80% of autoimmune patients are women, and many conditions are much more prevalent in people of color, these conditions are driving inequality in the workplace, since they are preventing minorities from progressing in their careers.
She goes on to offer actionable advice as to how employers can address autoimmunity at work, exploring what it means to be a true “health ally” to employees with autoimmune disease.
“I want to thank Fast Company for giving me a platform to share my story and raise awareness about the autoimmune epidemic,” Ellen said. “By recognizing and supporting employees with autoimmune disease, employers have the opportunity to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace, reduce healthcare costs, and ultimately empower their employees to bring their healthiest, happiest selves to work.”
Read the full guest article here.