Updated: May 14, 2022
Female workers face unique health and well-being challenges.
With about 58% of U.S. women in the workforce today, these needs should be kept top of mind.
About 75% of women in the workforce are of reproductive age, meaning they may regularly suffer from painful and uncomfortable menses-related symptoms, especially those dealing with endometriosis.
Women going through menopause may experience memory lapses or mood swings, which can impact their performance at work.
Additionally, fertility treatments and struggles can also impact a woman’s health and well-being. Pregnancy can certainly carry its own set of complications and difficult symptoms.
All these factors should be taken into account when considering how to support the unique needs of your female team members.
Women’s reproductive health can have a direct impact on mental health. For example, postpartum depression (PD) is a condition unique to women who’ve given birth, and according to the CDC, about 1 in 8 women will experience PD symptoms.
Additionally, women who experience cycle-related health issues and symptoms may also suffer a decline in mental health if they cannot adequately care for themselves by taking time off or seeing a doctor covered by insurance.
Finally, with women still taking on the brunt of caregiving duties, they face added layers of responsibility and stress.
So how can companies support working women at every stage of their life?
1. Educate your teams. Offer or mandate training on women’s health and reproductive issues to managers and HR staff.
2. Normalize conversations surrounding women’s health in the workplace. Often, women don’t feel comfortable discussing symptoms associated with their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. Yet, these symptoms can have an impact on performance.
3. Create policies that go the extra mile to support women’s health. This could include extra paid time off, flexible scheduling, or the option to work from home as needed.
4. Offer a comprehensive health plan that includes robust coverage of mental health care, OBGYN, fertility treatments, pre-and post-natal care, and caregiving support programs.
Adeola Mead is a Naturopathic Physician with 15 years of clinical experience. Her team provides integrative wellness programs to help improve digestion, energy and mood, naturally and simultaneously. They help organizations implement wellness initiatives that improve mental and physical health while creating a culture of camaraderie in wellness.