Anne Steinhoff, PhD candidate, University of Essex, Essex Business School, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I research the experiences of employees living with Coeliac Disease?
When I got diagnosed with Coeliac Disease at the beginning of my University studies, I felt relieved knowing that my suffering had a name, and that there were more people like me out in the world. The feeling of relief changed once I learnt that my symptoms had changed little, that a restrictive diet as a young woman at University was a dealbreaker in friendships and relationships, and that the disease was misunderstood in society.
I decided to focus on my studies, earning a Bachelor and Master degree. I did not know how to work full-time with a body that showed persistent and life- affecting symptoms, and colleagues who quizzed me about it. For several years, I worked in Finance related roles at two Russell Group Universities- always close to giving in. What kept me going? The belief that I wasn’t trying hard enough!
Finding the chronic illness community online made me realise that the problem was not me but that our workplaces do not treat employees as human beings. I thought about all the experiences I make daily with Coeliac Disease. I started wondering how other employees with Coeliac Disease feel.
Over the time, I got more confident about demanding that our workplaces should listen to our experiences. What if it is time to build a platform to hear these stories? I enrolled for a PhD at the University of Essex to research these experiences: What is YOUR worklife living with Coeliac Disease like?
Please click here for my CV.