Supporting women's health throughout their careers

Employee wellbeing is top of mind for employers. This International Women's Day, Towergate Health & Protection is encouraging awareness of women's wellbeing needs at every stage of their working life.

A woman doctor holds a woman's pictograph in her hands. Female doctor with a stethoscope gesticulating on a beige background.
While employers are offering health and wellbeing support that is specific to women, this is often limited to a particular life stage, such as maternity. Towergate Health & Protection is encouraging businesses to provide for women across the entire lifecycle, from early adulthood to menopause, and beyond.

Debra Clark, head of specialist consulting at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Women are in the workplace from teenagers through to at least their 60s. Health and wellbeing support should, therefore, provide for their needs at all the different life stages that will be faced whilst they are working.”
Related reading from Relocate Global

Physical health

There are various phases of life in which women in the workplace may require guidance. Young women may benefit from specific advice on nutrition and exercise. There are almost certainly women of child-bearing age in the majority of companies, and they may require help on a number of levels, from fertility and birth, through to parenthood.Menopause has recently become a much more talked-about subject and specific guidance can help women to cope with any symptoms that might impact their work. Cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease are common concerns for older women which all require support.

Mental health

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.

Specialist support for women

There are many different avenues of support available for women in the workplace, from specialist support and guidance, through to screening to identify physical health issues.

Help from within

It is also now possible to train members of staff to provide support for their colleagues. Companies can train employees as Female Health Champions, Employee Liaison Officers, and Mental Health First Aiders. Once trained, such employees can be armed with information on the best ways to obtain help, they can signpost assistance, and be someone to talk to and discuss concerns.

Supporting women at home and abroad

Women working overseas may find themselves in cultures where the different life stages of women are treated very differently to the UK. Support must, therefore, be tailored according to the specific challenges of the country in which they are working.

Sarah Dennis, Head of International at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “When selecting international healthcare provision it is important for employers to consider the specific support required for female employees. Women working abroad may need help through any or all of the key life stages, including pregnancy and the menopause. This is something that may not be as advanced in some countries, or as easy to discuss, and support may not be available from the country’s own healthcare system.”

Communication and accessibility

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’s also very important that company culture supports women being open about any issues they may face, and it helps when women are more open too - so that the company is aware of specific challenges.

“Employers need to understand what support women in their workplace require,” explains Debra Clark. “Two-way communication is key, so that women feel able to express their concerns and needs, and so that employers can inform their staff of what is available in terms of support.”

If you have a people-centred approach to driving success across your organisation and understand the importance of wellbeing in all its forms for talent to flourish, then why not enter the Think Global People and Relocate Awards. There are ten categories to choose from. Join us on 9 June for the results and the Future of Work Festival.

Read more global health and wellbeing news.

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory

Related Articles