The topic of mental health and wellbeing is one that has seen huge, well-needed traction in the last few years - as the pandemic made people take a step back and look at things differently. It also triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.
So, since people were forced to work from home to the present day, many businesses have been making changes in their workplace to address the wellbeing of their employees, by implementing new wellbeing strategies. These strategies could include a hybrid working model, 4-day working weeks, employee activities, and much more. But there are some important things that are still missing from most businesses’ strategies that need to be addressed…..
Female employees have a unique set of wellbeing requirements– so why are employers still using a one-size-fits-all approach? - because it isn’t going to work. As of this year, women account for 47.7% of the global workforce, yet their needs are being ignored.
Statistically, women are more likely to be juggling caring with a job, with one in five working women also being carers, whether that being a carer for their own children, grandchildren, or parents. This is just one scenario where female employees are at a disadvantage over their male counterparts, as they are likely to have less free time and more stress in and out of the workplace.
As well as caring circumstances, women are also faced with menopause which usually takes place in women aged 45-55. Menopause and perimenopause can cause symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods. These symptoms can start years before your periods stop and these symptoms can have a huge impact on people’s lives, including relationships and work - and these symptoms can last for up to 5 years.
It is vital that businesses are now being open about menopause and other factors that will affect their female employees, and it’s time to start considering women’s wellbeing in the workplace.
Lauren Chiren founder of Women of a Certain Stage, a corporate training business that is helping employers and individuals successfully navigate menopause recently spoke with us about how businesses can do more to consider women in their wellbeing strategies.
“Businesses need to be ensuring they are looking at workplace design overall, for example; temperature levels, natural light, quiet areas to work, free sanitary products, and breaks between meetings -no one should ever be crossing their legs needing to go to the loo!” said Lauren.
“You need to think of the whole colleague experience from job design, through to recruitment and onboarding. Your strategy should be designed with women, their cycles, fertility issues, pregnancy and menopause in mind.”
“Ask your people what they want!” she said - sometimes it is as simple as that.
So, send out wellbeing surveys and find out what it is your employees need and create an open environment where your employees feel they can come to you with any struggles they may be facing and have resources in place to help with all topics, including menopause. Once you are aware of their needs then you can begin to implement new policies that can cater to everyone in your workplace.
Ready to implement the right care and resources for women in your workplace?