CEW Mentoring Event: Why Women's Health is Good for Business
On the morning of Tuesday 25th June, CEW hosted a panel of four women who shared their perspectives on the importance of prioritising women’s health within the workplace: Athena Lamnisos, CEO of The Eve Appeal, Dr. Christine Ekechi, gynaecologist at Imperial College London, Karen Hobbs, cervical cancer survivor and consultant at Ask Eve and Grace Timothy, author of Lost in Motherhood. What ensued was a conversation about conversation—an exploration into the ways in which we facilitate conversation about women’s health.
As the UK’s only national charity focused on raising awareness and funding research into the prevention of the five gynaecological cancers, The Eve Appeal also provides information, tools, and support to improve the wellbeing agendas of various companies. Athena described the organization as a ‘taboo-free zone,’ where no question is too trivial or embarrassing. Despite the common belief that the topic of women’s health is becoming more acceptable in contemporary life, Athena informed the audience that evidence actually conflicts with this notion. She then posed the question ‘Where do employers and businesses come in?’ before passing the torch to Dr. Christine Ekechi.
Christine focused on the lack of knowledge surrounding sexual health and how this can be improved on an individual basis. A lack of knowledge cultivates an equally lacking work environment, which is not beneficial for woman or company. Christine encouraged attendees to initiate conversations in their daily lives about women’s health, saying, “We have to say what we need, if we don’t say what we need, the changes won’t come.”
Karen Hobbs, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 24 also discussed the importance of initiating conversations in order to reverse misconceptions and stigmas. Karen also highlighted the role of a somewhat surprising group: men. She said while they may not have the anatomy, they will someday be involved with it.
Grace Timothy concluded the panel, classifying the workplace taboo surrounding women’s health and anatomy as ridiculous and counterproductive. Grace, who is the mother of a 6-year-old girl, provided a personal anecdote by describing the types of conversations she hopes her daughter can one day have about her sexual health—ones that are open, frank, and without stigma.