Invisible Illness at Work, with Chronically Capable’s Hannah Olson

At 20, Hannah Olson was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. At 21, she graduated from Boston University and moved to DC for her first job.  At 22, she was forced to leave her job because her employer didn’t understand or accept her chronic condition that forced her to be hooked up to IVs 8 hours a day.  Hannah knew she wasn’t the only one – so she decided to fight back – by forming Chronically Capable.


JACKIE FERGUSON:  Please welcome Hannah Olson to Diversity Beyond the Checkbox. Hannah is a speaker, consultant, and the CEO of Chronically Capable, a platform that connects professionals who live with chronic illness to employers who offer remote work and flexible job opportunities. Anna started Chronically Capable when she herself had to leave her dream job after graduating from Boston University to undergo aggressive treatment after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. Hannah, welcome to our show. Thank you for being here.

HANNAH OLSON: Thanks so much for having me, happy to be here.

JACKIE: Let’s start with Chronically Capable. Tell us a little more about the mission of your organization and why this kind of work is necessary and as a network connector.

HANNAH: We are a talent marketplace that’s connecting folks with invisible illnesses and disabilities to opportunities that they statistically have a higher chance of retaining. Our hopes are that through our work, that we’re actually going to be able to change the workplace. Right now, there’s so much to undo in the workplace and so much that, for so long we’ve had this idea that you have to be in an office from nine to five and you have to perform at a certain level and we’ve seen, just this year alone, how much has shifted.

Full Episode Transcript

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