With the national conversation critically focused on the impact and effects of racial inequalities, Cancer and Careers, in collaboration with Wakefield Research, conducted a survey to better understand the unique work-related experiences of Black/African American adults diagnosed with cancer. As we have learned in the past, through our annual Harris Poll survey, work plays a significant role in the lives of patients and survivors, aiding in recovery and helping to cope with a diagnosis. This was also true for Black/African American survivors working through treatment; 83% of those surveyed agreed that people living with cancer or cancer survivors are aided in their treatment and recovery by working, and 90% saying that working through treatment helped them cope with their diagnosis.
Unfortunately, despite how important respondents felt work was for them, we also found that most Black/African American survivors (67%) weren’t confident their managers knew how to support them, and an even bigger majority (84%) felt management could do more to support them, including:
- Explaining legal rights and company benefits for an employee with cancer
- Better reallocation of workload
- Providing more workplace accommodations, such as flexible schedules or special equipment/technology
- Creating greater inclusion and engagement opportunities for all employees
- Developing better policies to support all employees
- Creating and fostering a more supportive work environment
- Having greater consideration for employees’ privacy preferences
There is huge opportunity for employers to do more for this part of our community at work, and the research is clear; Black/African American patients and survivors want to work and want to feel more supported than they currently are. To read the full report, click here, and to learn more about resources and support available for patients and survivors at work, click here.
***Though our sample size was small for this first of its kind survey (100 Black/African American respondents), we believe that the insights offered by this first cohort of respondents shows us critical opportunities for improving the experience of Black and African American people who are navigating work after a diagnosis.***