Only 21 percent of women in India are working. Yes, that is an alarming fact, and what's even more alarming is that the majority of these women are likely to leave their jobs. Why? It is rather simple to answer- due to health-related issues like PCOS, infertility, PCOS-induced anxiety and depression, and pregnancy in most cases.
What can you do as an employer? Wondering how to support women in the workplace? Try making your workplace safe and understanding while also trying to promote women employees’ health.
This blog will walk you through the ways in which you can support women’s health and why it is necessary. So, let’s begin without further ado.
Supporting women in the workplace isn’t just about having a comfortable and safe office, it is also about caring for women’s wellbeing.
Most working women in India their reproductive age, which means menstruation, PCOS, pregnancy, infertility, etc. are common concerns. And as you might know, each woman experiences these health issues uniquely and there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution for them. As a result, employee care plans that are offered by employers usually get wasted or don’t solve the real problem.
Hence, companies should cater to the unique health needs of their women employees.
Moreover, the gender pay gap, harassment, and other issues that women frequently confront at work can have an adverse effect on their mental health. Organizations that address these issues may contribute to improving the general health and well-being of women.
Many health plans, like Newmi Care’s Women at Work care program, also focus on improving the mental well-being of your employees and thereby decreasing absenteeism and increasing productivity.
Being an employer, it is completely normal and wise to question what benefits you will get by walking the extra mile for women’s health promotion at your company. Here are some compelling benefits, have a look-
Supporting women's health at work helps advance gender equality because women make up a sizable share of the workforce. It conveys the idea that their health and well-being are equally significant to their male counterparts.
When women employees are healthy, they are more productive and engaged at work. Hence, they are less likely to take sick days, which can lead to decreased productivity and increased costs for the company.
Companies that invest in their employees' health can save on healthcare costs in the long run. By promoting healthy behaviors and providing preventive care, companies can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases like breast cancer that are fatal for your employee’s health and are costly to treat.
When companies prioritize their women employees' health, they are more likely to attract and retain talented female workers. Moreover, the chances of women leaving the job after pregnancy and after delivery will also be reduced. And this can help to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
The importance of women’s health in the workplace cannot be ignored because they face different health issues throughout their reproductive life. And, all these issues need to be uniquely addressed and resolved.
Taking care of menstruating employees is the first step towards supporting women in the workplace. Women face several challenges related to menstruation at the workplace, including stigma, lack of access to menstrual products, and inadequate support. These issues can cause physical and emotional discomfort and affect job performance and overall well-being.
Moreover, some women experience excruciating pain during their periods and working during these days can be really tough sometimes. To help them, you can ensure that each woman employee has access to products like cramp relief roll on, heating pads and you can even serve cramp relief tea in your office. This way you will be able to help women who have not taken period leave in your organization as well.
Due to symptoms including exhaustion, anxiety, and irregular periods, women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) may experience difficulties at work. They might have to take a lot of breaks or time off from work, which might affect output and performance on the job.
Employers can assist by providing flexible work hours or telecommuting options to accommodate PCOS-affected staff. In addition, they can give you access to resources like support groups, health checks, and counseling services that can help you manage the disease. The best way is to look for a PCOS care plan that caters to all your needs and lets you manage smartly.
You may also organize yoga sessions in your office space by contacting Newmi Care’s expert and ensure that your employees’ mind, body, and soul is taken care of.
Due to hormonal imbalances and PCOS's negative effects on physical health, women with the condition are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Employers may help by offering benefits like flexible work schedules, time off for appointments, work-from-home choices, and mental health resources like counseling and therapy.
Employers can also promote a positive work environment that fosters open discussion about mental health requirements and lessens the stigma associated with mental illness. And conducting seminars or webinars is one of the best ways to spread awareness and curb the stigma around mental health.
You will be glad to know that at Newmi Care, we conduct seminars that cover different topics to help your workplace become a better place.
Women are twice as likely as men to face depression and anxiety. And, about 64.1 percent of women with PCOS have been found to have bad mental health. This number demands attention and action.
Pregnancy can present a range of challenges for women in the workplace, including fatigue, nausea, and physical limitations. Women may need to take time off work for prenatal appointments or to manage pregnancy-related health issues. During this time, you may help them by providing them access to Lamaze classes, consultations, fitness sessions, etc.
All this will increase the chances of your women employee having a normal delivery, and hence increasing the chances of them getting back to work early.
You can check out different pregnancy care plans and buy according to your budget for your pregnant female employees.
For new mothers, going back to work after giving birth can be difficult since they might experience practical, emotional, and physical difficulties. Lack of sleep, breastfeeding issues, separation anxiety, and the requirement for additional time off for medical appointments are a few of the difficulties women may experience at work in the post-pregnancy stage.
About 50 per cent of new mothers leave their jobs and only 27 percent of them return back to work. However, post-pregnancy care plans like the one offered by Newmi Care can help you increase the number of women employees returning to work post-pregnancy.
Employers may provide benefits like maternity leave, access to counseling services, and informational materials on work-life balance and parenting. By providing these accommodations and resources, employers can support new mothers in transitioning back to work. Additionally, offering support for working mothers can improve employee retention, morale, and overall productivity.
Infertility can have a significant impact on the mental and physical health of working women. Women who are struggling with infertility may experience anxiety, depression, and stress, which can affect their work performance and productivity.
Moreover, infertility treatments such as IVF can also be physically and emotionally demanding, requiring frequent medical appointments, and time off work. Additionally, infertility treatments can be expensive, which can cause financial stress for working women.
Now that you have an idea of all the possible issues your women employees might be facing at work, let’s briefly look at what you can do.
1. Access to comprehensive healthcare coverage should be made available, including services for women's health such as gynecological checkups and screenings. You can provide this access via employee wellness programs and team up with a pioneer like Newmi.
2. Encourage women to take time off for preventive health screenings and appointments by creating a supportive work environment. And seminars are the best way to go about it, you can ask experts of Newmi Care to conduct a session to spread awareness.
3. Offer wellness programs (check out Newmi Women at Work Care Program) that have been tailored towards the requirements of women in terms of reproductive health and stress management.
4. Implement flexible work schedules and telecommuting to assist women in juggling their obligations at home and at work.
5. Give breastfeeding mothers special areas or lactation rooms where they can privately pump milk.
6. Implement laws that forbid discrimination based on a person's gender, whether they are pregnant, or other situations.
7. Develop a culture that values work-life balance and encourages managers and employees to talk openly about health issues.
8. Offer yoga sessions to your employees so that they will become more attentive, focused, and productive as a result.
9. You can offer your employees an on-site chair massage to reduce their stress, relax their minds and bodies, promote well-being, reduce tight muscles, decrease muscular pain, and many more. In short appreciate your employee’s hard work by giving this massage therapy.
It's crucial to keep in mind that employee wellness programs designed specifically for women can promote women's health in useful ways. Programs like these might include women-specific fitness courses, mental health assistance, and information and resources on health. Women should be encouraged to take part in these programs, and employers should make these programs a part of their offerings.
As much as we talk about equality in the workplace, we fail to understand that women are biologically different from men, and equality in the case of healthcare won’t suffice.
Moreover, calling your workplace women-friendly just because you have period leaves is not justifiable. You must go above and beyond for your women workforce. And when there are easy ways like women's employee care plans offered by Newmi Care available, why wait? Get in touch with us now and let’s care for your women employees together.
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