The People-First Mindset: Shaping the future of mental health in tech
By Cass Balzer
January 12, 2024
The intersection of technology and mental health took center stage at the CES 2024 Equality Lounge. Created by the Female Quotient, a woman-owned business working to help companies and leaders achieve gender equality in the workplace, the Lounge brought together industry leaders to discuss the experiences of women in technology.
Fetch’s own Carmen Gonzalez-Meister, General Manager of Health, Wellness and Beauty, appeared in a panel, in partnership with LinkedIn, to discuss how tech is moving mental health forward.
The panel had a powerful lineup of speakers, including leaders from IPG Media Lab, Albertsons Media Collective, XR Extreme Reach and more. These women shared their thoughts and experiences of how technology–both individual products and tech companies–can empower women to take control of their mental wellbeing.
The panelists emphasized accessibility as a cornerstone in promoting mental health in tech. Louisa Wong, CEO of XR Extreme Reach, pointed out that investment in FemTech and the emergence tools for tracking periods, fertility and menopause provides accessible data points that can empower women to make informed decisions.
But progress towards accessibility within women’s health must be driven by more than just tech products – it should also be a focus of tech companies. “Post-COVID, we women bore a lot of the brunt of taking on all of the work at home and at work,” said Gonzalez-Meister. She explained that Fetch takes women’s mental and physical wellness seriously, making reference to the organization’s partnership with Carrot, a fertility benefit, and dedicated funds for family planning assistance.
According to the panelists, women’s mental and physical wellbeing should be an organizational priority. “Our founder and CEO is a man, but he’s also the executive sponsor of the Women’s ERG,” Gonzalez-Meister said. “We need to make sure that the doors are open and that we provide support for everyone, but also that we have leaders at the top who are honest.”
Panelists also discussed the need to destigmatize mental health in the workplace, pointing to the role of leaders in breaking the silence and empowering employees to address mental health issues openly. The session underscored the importance of self-care and mutual support within professional circles.
“I think all the technology that is here now is giving people permission to be human,” said Gonzalez-Meister. “Now, companies are providing infrastructure to support it.”
Cass Balzer is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Fetch.