Inkhouse Signs #WorkingWithCancer Pledge

Feb 03, 2023 Beth Monaghan

In 2020 I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. At the time a friend who’d been through it already welcomed me to “the club” of one in eight women. The enormity of that statistic hit me while I was walking on the beach that summer. It was crowded and I thought, if all the breast cancer survivors here stood up we’d be multitudes.

A more sobering number: 50% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Inkhouse has signed the #WorkingWithCancer pledge. The campaign, created by Publicis, is designed to support employees who, by and large, don’t often tell employers when they are trying to remain at work while undergoing cancer treatments. You can learn more by watching this video, “Monday,” which will air at the Super Bowl next weekend.

When we signed the pledge, I wrote to Publicis, "At Inkhouse we believe that work should not be an additional worry for someone suffering from a cancer diagnosis. We pledge that while an employee is going through cancer treatments, we will support them with flexibility so they can choose treatment options that work best for them. When we ask employees to support Inkhouse in our professional life, we believe that it's our responsibility to support them in their personal lives."

Inkhouse’s benefits and policies that support employees with cancer include:

  • Job protection for 12 months from the start of treatment
  • Strong and supportive medical benefits through Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Health Reimbursement Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Short-Term Disability paid by Inkhouse
  • Long-Term Disability program paid by Inkhouse  
  • Voluntary Critical Care Insurances for individuals and their families
  • Supportive culture that includes Flex Fridays, hybrid options and a flexible work schedule through treatment

Sharing your cancer diagnosis is a personal choice, just like your treatment path. When I went on short-term leave I decided to tell everyone — my friends, clients and employees — mostly because I thought it would generate more speculation if I didn’t. And even I, the CEO, worried about how people would respond. Telling people turned out to be one of the greatest gifts. I was surrounded by love and support. That should be available to everyone; no one should have to suffer—and worry—alone. 

As I wrote in our 2021 Inkhouse book, Aren’t We Lucky, “I used to think resilience meant standing steady in a storm. But that’s not how it works. Resilience is a willingness to make adjustments so we can withstand the storm and allow it to change us.” 

I extend deep gratitude to Publicis for initiating the #WorkingWithCancer pledge and am proud to sign my name, and Inkhouse’s name, to it. 

Topics: workplace, Employee Benefits, Inkhouse Employees, What's good for people is good for business, WorkingWithCancerPledge
Beth Monaghan

Since the early days working around her kitchen table, Beth has grown Inkhouse into one of the top independent PR agencies in the country. She’s been named a Top Woman in PR by PR News, a Top 25 Innovator by PRovoke, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Beth designed Inkhouse’s signature Storytelling Workshop to mirror the literary hero’s journey and to unearth the emotional connections that bind an audience to a brand or idea. She also uses narratives to build Inkhouse’s culture, most recently through two books of employee essays, “Hindsight 2020” and “Aren’t We Lucky?”

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