Today marks International Women’s Day! It’s a wonderful time to celebrate women and look into different ways to support women daily. Women play a large role in the family household and in the workplace.
Supporting women in the workplace can make a major difference for the prosperity of the business, and the success of a working mother.
Employers should take the challenges of women in the workplace very seriously, and aim to support women throughout their careers.The workplace can be a challenging place for a woman. Most corporate environments and workplaces are male-dominated. As employees, women need a safe space that protects their health and wellness. Studies show that when women are happy and healthy in the workplace, the overall productivity and success in the workplace is higher.
This article includes tips to promote a healthy life for women in the workplace. Employers can use this information as a tool to enhance the health of women in the workplace, and women can seek job opportunities that enforce these practices within the workplace.
Provide Paid Maternity Leave
Paid maternity leave is very important for women’s health in the workplace. Women are faced with a challenge of going through childbirth, while still needing to work and support their household. Studies show that mothers with maternity leave below 12 weeks and less than 8 weeks of paid maternal leave are likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety, and an overall decline of health.
Findings show that establishing longer leave policies from women ultimately improves the health of new mothers. Longer maternity leave policies establishes a form of security and safety for working mothers. Extended policies allow mothers to relax, and leaves positive benefits on their mental health, which ultimately leads to increased productivity in the workplace.
Managing Maternity Leave for Men and Women
Results from The Mercer Study shows that when companies offer evolved and flexible maternal and paternal policies, have higher female representation and retention in the workplace, especially when the employees are managed and actively directed throughout pre and post stages of the maternity leave.
Workplace maternity policies should also extend to men. Employers should encourage flexible working policies for both men and women, so that parental responsibility can be split between both parents.
Ensure Women Have Time for Female Health Issues
Making time for your employee’s health is extremely important as an employer. Healthy employees increase the productivity in the workplace. For women, health management is extremely important, especially when balancing the challenges of being a mother and working full time. Here are a few things to consider when creating health policies in the workplace.
- Be sure to give women time for health screenings. Women should be afforded health days and paid time off for mammograms, HPV and STD testing, colonoscopies, and any other health screenings necessary to secure their health.
- Establish an inclusive culture that allows all employees, especially women, to feel comfortable communicating their health related and pregnancy issues.
- Provide health products for women in the workplace. Be sure to stock the bathrooms with sanitary products for women and have a medicine cabinet available.
Research shows that over 20% of women miss health appointments because of work. 12% of women miss appointments because they are not comfortable with speaking with their superiors about health issues. Women who deal with intense menstrual flows take over five million days off yearly. 58% of women who suffer from heavy periods report feelings of discomfort in the workplace and say they are unable to carry out their daily routine with the same efficiency.
Support Nursing Mums in the Office
After maternity leave, the job of a working mother does not stop. Women’s bodies are still producing milk, well after they have given birth to their baby. This could cause an issue for nursing moms in the workplace. Employers should be sensitive to nursing mums in the workplace. Here are some ways to ensure support for nursing mums in the office.
- Establish and invest in early intervention programmes. This will decrease the number of women who quit their jobs and leave the workplace to take care of their families. Establishing a work-family balance is important for the benefits of women’s health issues in the workplace.
- Create a clear and easily understood policy for return periods. Women may leave the workplace to start a family, to handle illness, or deal with any family issues. They should have a clear understanding of company policies and processes that will be in place to help assimilate back into the workplace.
- Promote and allow time for maternal antenatal care. Mothers and expectant mothers should be afforded time for their special health care needs. Mothers should feel safe and secure that their health and the health of their child is prioritised.
- Private areas for breastfeeding should be established throughout the workplace. This ensures that women are comfortable taking care of their breastfeeding needs after pregnancy.
Standing Desks for Women in the Office
Standing desks have been proven to increase the health of employees in the workplace. Employees in the workplace can benefit from standing desks. Standing desks can benefit women’s health in the workplace in the following ways:
- Ensuring women have periods of sitting and standing. This is especially beneficial for women who are pregnant or who have recently gave birth. Furthermore, sitting and standing can also prevent cankles and swollen ankles.
- Promoting movement and exercise throughout the day.
- Helping women who have injuries or pain manage throughout the day.
Benefits Of Healthy Workplace Policies For Women
Ensuring women’s health in the workplace can ultimately increase the productivity in the workplace. Most importantly, it can enhance the relationships between women and their employers.
By promoting healthy policies in the workplace and investing in equipment and tools that promote health in the workplace, employers and women in the workplace will all benefit.
Check out Zen Space Desks‘ range of standing desks and other equipment that promote health in the workplace.
Celebrate Queensland’s Women’s Week by attending workshops and events that promote women’s health and advancement in the workplace.