women's health week

Women’s health week: discover 5 ways you can help the female workforce

Women’s Health Week aims to highlight and raise awareness of health issues faced by women all over the world. At ifeel, we would like to shine a light on how companies can help women tackle these problems and support them as much as possible to achieve optimal mental health inside and outside the workplace. 

In this article for Women’s Health Week, we’ve summed up some common issues faced by women in the workplace related to their mental and physical health, which companies and HR managers sometimes overlook, and this ultimately leads to poor mental health, lack of motivation, and a decline in overall productivity. Keep reading to find out how companies can change this dynamic to offer their support to female employees. 

women's health week

Women’s Health Week and issues faced by women

Although Women’s Health Week is a key date used to highlight the issues faced by women, it is essential to consider these problems and design a strategy to make women feel comfortable and supported in their workplaces. We can divide women’s health into two areas. 

Physical health

Physically, women face many challenges, especially related to their reproductive health. One of these problems can be related to their menstrual cycle. Endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and general menstrual cramps can hinder women from wanting to carry out their tasks at work. 

boost talent strategy

So, what can companies do to adapt to female employees’ needs? Firstly, companies should provide access to regular checkups through healthcare benefits and encourage them to take up such benefits. Secondly, women should be allowed to work remotely if they have issues related to their reproductive health. Going to the office is uncomfortable for some women on their cycle as they feel discomfort and pain. 

Many companies have allowed women to work from home because of menstrual pains. The first one to do so legally is Spain, where a law has been passed for women’s menstrual leave. However, this is a contradictory law as it only allows women diagnosed with endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome to take this leave. 

Mental health 

Women also face many mental health challenges in the workplace, affecting their personal lives. According to the mental health foundation, “Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs. 10.9%)”. This statistic is worrying for women’s health as it means they need more support in the workplace. It is important to acknowledge that various factors can contribute to this difference, including societal expectations, discrimination, and differences in coping mechanisms. Here are some of the issues faced by women at work, which can affect their mental health severely: 

1. Sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment can be very damaging to women’s mental health, especially if they are in a work environment they feel like they cannot talk about it. Companies need to implement a preventative strategy so that sexual harassment does not occur in the workplace. This can be done by setting clear guidelines, letting employees know they can speak openly about it with HR, and training employees. HR managers should inform employees, especially when they join, which behaviors and attitudes are clearly considered sexual harassment and should therefore be avoided. 

2. The glass ceiling

The glass ceiling metaphor describes the intangible barrier that prevents women from progressing in their careers. Female employees cannot point it out to others or demonstrate it exists: they cannot argue that a rule disadvantages them. 

The glass provides them with a clear view of the higher positions. No apparent constraints are preventing them from ascending. In reality, they encounter various impediments when attempting to shatter this enigmatic barrier and achieve professional growth comparable to their male counterparts.

3. The glass cliff

After the glass ceiling comes the glass cliff. This term defines how organizations give women leadership roles when the company is going through a crisis, and the woman appointed is bound to fail or the chances are very high. They are frequently not the cause of the organization’s poor performance; instead, the poor performance was already present when they assumed responsibility for addressing it.

4. Gender pay gap 

The gender pay gap is the average gross hourly earnings difference between women and men. According to the European Parliament’s report, Working women in the EU earn, on average, 12.7% less per hour than men. The gender pay gap severely impacts women’s quality of life. This includes high stress and anxiety levels due to financial insecurity and decreased self-esteem and job satisfaction. These consequences may lead to higher rates of job turnover among women.

women's health week

What can companies do to help women?

Women’s health week is a good way for companies to remind their employees (if they don’t do it already consistently) of available benefits and mental health support. Not only will this make them feel at ease, but it will also help them realize that their work environment is a safe space where they are being looked after, and their needs are being considered. 

  1. Offer flexibility: To help women balance their personal and professional lives, they should be allowed to have flexible working hours and remote work. This can help them work around their families, especially if they have children or someone under their care. 
  2. Training: Providing opportunities for training and development can enable women to enhance their skills and knowledge and equip them for career progression.
  3. Benefits package: This should include fair paid maternity leave and flexible working hours upon their return to work. Healthcare is also a key factor, allowing women to have access to periodic checkups.
  4. Tackle the gender pay gap: In order to close the gender pay gap, companies should offer equal pay by ensuring that women and men with the same roles should be paid the same. 
  5. Implement a workplace well-being program: To keep female employees at the top of their game, they should have access to a well-being program. Not only will it help them with any mental health problems, but it will also help them be more productive and perform better. 

We hope you found this post about Women’s Health Week interesting. If you want more information about ifeel’s emotional well-being service for companies, simply get in touch, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

New call-to-action

  • Nueva llamada a la acción
  • Nueva llamada a la acción

  • We think this articles may interest you