Rinck Life

From Advertising to Advocating. Let’s Talk About Women’s Health

May 23, 2024

Last week, Hearst hosted its inaugural event focused on women’s health issues called the Hearst Health Lab. In attendance were dozens of empowered women leaders including Chelsey Clinton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christy Turlington Burns, Julianna Margulies, and more. – Dr. Jill Biden was the most notable attendee and the keynote speaker. She talked about the White House executive order on Women’s Health Research. This executive order addresses the shocking issue that not only is women’s health understudied and underfunded, but most of our medications, treatments, health products, and even medical school textbooks are based on men. This landmark order aims to rectify these disparities by ensuring that women’s health receives the dedicated research, funding, and attention it deserves. Hearst Health is doing their part as a media company to not only give voice to these issues but play a part in bettering women’s health through their content and advertising.

I was honored to attend this event as a partner with Amgen to speak on a panel with Dr. Kristi Tough DeSapri, Anna Haddad, and Jane Francisco. Our topic was one near and dear to me as a woman – bone health.

Until now, I had not publicly spoken about the fact that I was diagnosed with severe bone disease in 2022. There are implications to speaking on our health and quite honestly as a leader and President of our company, I didn’t want to be seen as weak due to my health. Glass, after all, is made for ceilings not bones. But, for me, the power of patient advocacy outweighed the feeling of biological bankruptcy.

Attending Hearst Health Lab was eye opening for me from the perspective of both a woman and a business owner. Not only am I responsible for my own health, but I have the shared responsibility of ensuring my employees have the best access to information, accommodation, and care. Addressing chronic health issues like osteoporosis poses significant challenges, particularly for women in the workplace. Women often juggle multiple roles, balancing professional responsibilities with caregiving duties at home. Chronic illnesses can exacerbate this delicate balance, leading to increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and, in severe cases like that of my own mother, who fell on the job and was forced to early retirement. Osteoporosis, for instance, not only threatens physical health but can also impact a woman’s professional life profoundly. The fear of fractures and the limitations imposed by fragile bones can lead to a decrease in confidence and capability in the workplace.

Moreover, the workplace environment itself often lacks the necessary accommodations and support for women dealing with chronic health conditions. There is a pressing need for more inclusive workplace policies that consider the unique health challenges women face. This includes flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, and access to healthcare and wellness programs that focus specifically on women’s health needs. Employers must recognize the importance of supporting their female employees’ health, as doing so can lead to a more productive, satisfied, and loyal workforce.

Although my health status is complex, every woman is at risk for osteoporosis, and we are not talking enough about bone health. The fact of the matter is that 50% of all women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken a bone, but it is entirely disruptive to life, family and work.

Ladies, talk to your doctors. Ask for a bone scan and get your baseline. Your skeleton is your foundation of youth and will absolutely determine what your last twenty years look like. For me, dammit, I am going to manifest strong bones for an active life and a successful career.

Laura Rinck


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