Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021
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S*** Happens. Bereavement, Burnout, & the Difficult Conversations


Cara McCarty (She/Her)
Cognite, Vice President of HR
Christina Wells (She/Her)

60% of employees have access to paid bereavement leave through their employers, according to the BLS. And that is usually only about two to three days off—not always with pay. A new study from U.S. researchers, found that about nine people are impacted by the loss of a single person. Couple that with outdated Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), box-checking DEI initiatives, and the loss of normalcy during a global pandemic and suddenly the place you spend most of your time can feel foreign.

In this chat with Cara McCarty (Co-Founder of Code Pilot and VP of HR at Cognite) and Christina Wells (VP of People at PLANOLY), Cara will share her story of how she navigated the uncomfortable discussions around reducing hours and pay to spend the last 16 weeks with her mom before she died. Meanwhile, Christina will share her insights as a colleague, employer, and mom fighting burnout and creating safe spaces for difficult conversations.