Women’s Health in the Workplace

By McKenzie Schwark
Women's Health

Women have specific health care needs that aren’t always addressed in the average health care or benefits package. Companies have a unique ability to address women’s health care concerns and make health and wellness more accessible and attainable for female employees.

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for women, and those numbers are likely to rise since so many have missed screenings or other preventative appointments due to the pandemic. One-third of reproductive-age women now suffer from some kind of chronic condition. But accessible help, care, and prevention can be addressed where women spend the majority of their week: the workplace. Here are some suggestions of ways to address women’s specific health concerns in the workplace.

1. Provide gym memberships, or fitness reimbursement program

Exercise and movement have a ton of proven benefits. Some time at the gym, in a fitness class, or getting some kind of movement throughout the day can improve mental health, improve bone and muscle function, and prevent some cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Memberships can be expensive, and employees may not feel motivated to go given the cost. Consider offering some kind of reimbursement program to help offset the cost.

2. Consider onsite mammograms

One in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection is hugely important, but many women don’t make their yearly mammograms. Some companies offer mobile mammograms and cancer screenings, so instead of going to the doctor’s office, the doctor’s office comes to you. This is a great way to ensure screenings are easily accessible for your employees and keeps them from having to schedule and take time out of their busy schedules to get one of these imperative screenings.

3. Take mental health concerns seriously

Burnout has been a major issue for working women, especially over the last few years. Conversations about mental health in the workplace are becoming more commonplace, and many businesses are implementing programs to help employees take better care of their mental and emotional health. Read our story on how to address mental health concerns in the office.

4. Review your maternity leave policies

Maternity and parental leave policies have also made major headlines over the last several years and sparked a lot of debate about their importance. Women have more options than ever when it comes to career and motherhood, and for women who want to embrace both, it is important to have programs and policies in place that make those choices possible. The U.S. does not have a federally mandated paid maternal or family leave policy, so individual workplaces have the opportunity to directly address this and make it possible for women.

5. Consider menopausal care

Although not every female employee will need or take advantage of maternity or fertility care, every one will experience menopause. Menopause is a major change to a woman’s reproductive and overall health, but is rarely discussed in the open. Read our interview with Gennev founder Jill Angelo for more on the importance of addressing menopause, and some easy ways managers can better do so!

Women have unique needs when it comes to health and wellness, and businesses and managers have a unique ability to address those needs. Women have made great strides in the workplace, and retaining top female talent will require addressing those unique concerns head-on. A healthy employee is a happy, long-term employee!