Opinion  

Companies can do more to support women in the workplace

Debra Clark

Debra Clark

Cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease are common concerns for older women, which also all require support.

Mental health

Article continues after advert

Many of the physical changes affecting women in the workplace can also have a big impact on their mental health. Fertility issues, pregnancy, birth, and parenthood all present specific challenges for women. Menopause can impact on mental health as well as physical. For this reason, health and wellbeing for women needs to incorporate the mind as well as the body.

There are many options available for support, guidance, and counselling, from apps and online hubs, to signposting services and one-to-one dialogue with a specialist. These may be available as standalone provision or as added-value items within other employee benefits.

Female-specific health and wellbeing support is becoming more and more accessible. Employers need to keep up with the advances and communication must keep pace too. It is important that they do not make assumptions about what support the women in their workplace require. Instead, they should ask the question – this could be done via surveys or focus groups – and respond to the specific needs being highlighted. 

Not just a female concern

This issue is not just imperative to the women of your organisation; it is important to all employees and the business itself. Everyone will be better educated personally to support any women in their lives, whether that is in or out of work. 

Wellbeing is the opposite side of the coin to diversity and inclusion, they go hand in hand in many ways. There are numerous studies showing how companies with a diverse senior management team are more successful, so ensuring that the women in your organisation feel supported is important for your bottom line too.

It is also vital that company culture supports women being open about any issues they may face. Two-way communication is key, so that women feel able to express their concerns and needs. This means that the company is aware of specific challenges and can inform their staff of what is available in terms of support.

Debra Clark is head of specialist consulting at Towergate Health & Protection