Women's Health at Work: How to Support it?
The women’s history month is here. What better time than this to address one of the most critical problems prevalent in every corporate? - women’s health.
As much as we see the growth in females across all job industries, it will be accurate to say that there is still a long way to go. I mean, more than 50% of women in the U.S are in the labor force, and even then, specific health provisions for women do not adequately exist. Women employees face a lot of workplace challenges, especially those relating to health. Since the workplace is the spot employees spend their half time in, it must consider and acknowledge its female employees' general health issues.
However, it is significant to understand that sensitivity to workplace hazards will vary for both men and women. Workplace challenges faced by men will be a lot different than women. Female employees are more prone to work-related carpal tunnel syndrome cases, respiratory diseases, anxiety, stress, and whatnot.
Health Hazards in the Workplace
Being a woman gets very difficult even though things are different now and way better in terms of equality. But, there are still things to be worked upon. The workplace scenes need to evolve on a large scale, and many concerns yet to be addressed. When it comes to women’s health issues at work, male counterparts fail to understand the intensity of the same. Let's have a look at some of the common health problems women face at work.
1. Reproductive issues
Reproductive health issues are one of the most common and critical matters of concern for women. And more than 75% of working women are of reproductive age. And in the absence of paid maternity leaves, pregnant working mothers do come to the office, and while working, there are high chances of the developing baby getting affected by her exposures at work. This is a risk which women are bound to take.
Besides pregnancy, there is nothing like menstrual leave too. Managing periods at work becomes extremely difficult with hormonal changes and mood swings, especially if the period comes bearing cramps. In that case, you are gone, for workplaces can be very chaotic, thereby driving us crazy.
Paid Maternity Leave
Women cell to deal with women health issues
As it is known, physiologically, men and women are not the same. It can be why musculoskeletal disorders- injuries of muscles, joints, arms, legs- are more prominent in women than in men.
And, one of the reasons behind this disorder may as well be the sedentary lifestyle we lead. Sitting in front of the system all day long does take a toll on both genders' physical health. But since there are biological differences between men and women, there is a higher rate of this disorder amongst women.
Office standing desks
3. Workplace Stress
When you panic and are anxious all the time, stress will be there by your side always. It is seen that illness due to stress develops more in women. Together with work stress comes heart disease, depression, and whatnot. And this directly affects productivity.
The fact that women are often solely responsible for balancing family and work puts an additional burden on them. Failing to maintain both mental and physical health takes a hit. It is during times like this when you as an employer need to launch corporate wellness programs in the workplace. This, therefore, will help in keeping the employees engaged in activities amid their hectic work schedule.
Apart from these, women who work in insecure jobs are always on their toes, fearing that expressing themselves would lead to losing their jobs.
In the 8 hours of work, employees are exposed to so many substances, good and bad. And the passive lifestyle pattern prevents us from doing physical activities too. To top it, employees often start taking cigarette breaks to relieve themselves of stress among the hectic work schedule. Smoking is a threat to both women and men, and not to sugarcoat; it straightaway gives you cancer.
Besides, a flawed diet plan and no exercise also add to the cancer risk. Seeing all these, the healthy routine seems to disappear, and instead, the new habits lead to the development of cancer types.
Smoke Cessation Programs
Canteen containing healthy food items at work
Tips on how to encourage Women’s Health Care at Work
While women’s history month is on, corporates should grab this opportunity to encourage the female employees to prioritize their health over everything else. Likewise, companies need to contemplate women’s health issues more seriously, considering women, these days, make up nearly half of the workforce.
First things first, employers ought to create awareness about women's health affairs and inspire healthy workplaces.
So, looking for ideas? No worries, we have got you covered.
Motivate your female employees to take proper care of themselves by offering them resources revolving around women’s health. These resources will further make them aware of dealing with the many women's health issues.
Engage your female staff in healthy physical activities every once in a while. Also, to make it enjoyable, ask them to click pictures of the same and post on social media with apt hashtags, thereby encouraging women worldwide.
As an employer, one of the sweetest gestures you can make for your women employees is by booking appointments for health exams. This would keep their health in check along with the notion that you care thus earning yourself some employee loyalty.
4. Smoking Cessation Programs
Cigarettes are often called women's worst enemy. As per research, every year, around 200,000 women die of health issues concerning smoking. To women, it messes up with the entire reproductive system on a wrong scale. So, they deserve to know and be aware of the same. And you being an employer should carry out smoking cessation programs in the workplace to address the issue.
5. Women’s Health Issue Facts
Make it a routine every day to send health-related facts to your female employees for keeping them interested and curious to know more. This way, there will be constant reminders for them to make their health a priority.
When the women workforce is well and sound, the productivity levels will automatically increase for them and the organization. Employers must make proper strategies to manage the physical and psychological problems faced by women in the workplace. It’s high time to promote equality at work on a fundamental basis.
So, let’s not allow women’s health conditions at work to be dismissed as a non-issue anymore.