Women’s Health: Issues & Solutions For Working Women
On the occasion of the International Day of Action for Women's Health, it is crucial to take proactive steps in fostering a culture that promotes awareness and equity. Based on International SOS' case data, the top health concerns for females in 2023 included infectious diseases, respiratory illnesses, heart attacks, accidents, and injuries. Mental health assistance requests were also common
On the occasion of the International Day of Action for Women's Health, it is crucial to take proactive steps in fostering a culture that promotes awareness and equity. Based on International SOS' case data, the top health concerns for females in 2023 included infectious diseases, respiratory illnesses, heart attacks, accidents, and injuries. Mental health assistance requests were also common. Research indicates that mental health issues affect both genders but not in equal measure.
Maintaining mental health and wellbeing is one of the most significant challenges faced by the global workforce today. With the ongoing impact of global events on work and the workplace, employees' ability to cope with constant change has become a determining factor for overall health. Organizations can play a pivotal role in enhancing the health and safety of their female workforce. Gender-based differences must be considered when developing workplace wellbeing and travel management programs.
Creating tailored initiatives that address women's specific health requirements can greatly increase female employee engagement and ensure they feel supported and understood in the workplace. Promoting awareness and providing education can help dismantle stigmas and establish a culture where open and supportive conversations about all health issues, irrespective of gender, are the norm.
While both men and women encounter health issues, working women often face unique circumstances that impact their mental health. Work environments can be stressful for women, with constant scrutiny of job performance, concerns about career advancement, and the challenge of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Additionally, women may experience gender-based discrimination or harassment, leading to a decline in psychological wellbeing. Governments, organizations, leaders, and medical professionals must acknowledge these issues and work together to develop regulations, policies, campaigns, and targeted health solutions that address women's health in the workplace. This understanding should be rooted in a comprehensive awareness of the multitude of challenges women face.
For working women, striking a balance between home and work is often a significant challenge. Juggling multiple roles simultaneously can lead to stress and burnout. Demanding deadlines and
heavy workloads frequently cause women to neglect self-care. Gender-based discrimination, harassment, and bias unfortunately persist in workplaces. Organizations should strive to build a culture of diversity and inclusion. Raising awareness and providing training on unconscious bias and gender sensitivity is an essential initial step.
However, it is equally important for senior leaders, managers, and peers to exemplify gender equality by providing growth opportunities for all. Addressing gender-based discrimination or harassment is crucial, as women may face microaggressions or biases in the workplace that contribute to feelings of frustration, anger, or inadequacy.
Personal life challenges also significantly impact the mental wellbeing of working women. Relationship or family problems, financial stress, and health issues are common examples. So, how can employers support the mental health and wellbeing of their female workforce? To initiate the journey towards wellbeing and support working women, employers can offer
Ensuring access to comprehensive healthcare benefits, including coverage for preventive screenings, reproductive health services, and mental health support.
Offering on-site health and wellness facilities, providing resources for exercise, nutrition counselling, and ergonomic assessments.
Promoting awareness of women's health issues through workshops, seminars, and educational campaigns.
Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible schedules. These options allow women to better manage their time and achieve a healthier work-life balance.
Creating a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusivity is essential. Regular training on unconscious bias and gender sensitivity should be provided to both male and female employees. It is critical to have female representation at all organizational levels, including leadership positions, to instill confidence and promote gender equality.
Most organizations have an underutilized employee assistance program (EAP) that provides counselling and support for personal and professional issues. Increasing visibility and implementing a formal Mental Wellbeing Program within the organization can enhance the utilization of these crucial services. Other important elements include stress management initiatives like mindfulness training, onsite health and wellbeing centers, healthy meal options, and opportunities for exercise.
At International SOS, we combine wellbeing with our core expertise in health; our bespoke programmes are medically led and evidence-based. we help organizations build and manage several such initiatives including dedicated health and wellbeing centers staffed with health specialists including doctors, ergonomic experts, nutritionists and counsellors.
Prioritizing women's health in the workplace is not just a matter of fairness but also crucial for fostering a productive and engaged workforce. By addressing the specific challenges that working women face, organizations can create a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes physical and mental well-being. Employers play a vital role in implementing solutions that support women's health, ultimately leading to happier, healthier, and more successful employees.