International Women’s Day: How you can support women’s wellbeing in the workplace

08/03/24 – Blog

Every year on 8th March, people across the globe (including us here at Medigold!) celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

IWD is a day for organisations and individuals to participate in events, campaigns and initiatives to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

It’s also a crucial opportunity to raise awareness about women’s rights and highlight existing issues and challenges that women face.

With that in mind, in this blog we want to explore how employers can better support women’s wellbeing in the workplace.

Why women’s wellbeing is important in the workplace

Women make up a significant proportion of the workforce, and in 2023, 15.6 million women were employed in the UK.

Women also dominate numerous sectors and crucial occupations; they hold 77% of positions in the health and social care sector, 70% in education and 58% in retail and wholesale. With women performing so many essential roles, attracting, retaining and looking after female talent should be a top priority for organisations.

However, it seems many employers are falling short. Sixty-eight percent of women have experienced a period of poor physical or mental health while at work, and when it comes to women-specific health issues, a staggering 36% of women said they felt their employer had not been supportive.

Recognising and supporting women’s wellbeing can bring many benefits for businesses, but employers must first understand the key challenges that women are up against.

Key challenges to women’s wellbeing at work

Many women face reproductive and hormonal health challenges which can impact their personal life, work life and relationships. The ramifications of these health challenges can also adversely affect employee wellbeing and organisational productivity if individuals are not supported effectively.  


Menopause in the workplace has become a particularly hot topic in recent years due to awareness campaigns and the Menopause Workplace Pledge. Menopause symptoms (which can include hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, memory and concentration issues and sleep disturbances) affect 85% of women and can have negative implications for both their personal and professional lives.

Research has found that 73% of women feel unsupported at work while experiencing menopause. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 leave work because of menopause symptoms, representing a considerable drain in knowledge and expertise from the workplace.


Monthly menstruation symptoms can cause havoc in women’s day-to-day lives, with over 79% of women suffering from symptoms such as abdominal cramps, low mood, irritability, fatigue and bloating.

Yet there is still considerable stigma around talking about menstruation in the workplace. Indeed, 49% of employees say that they would not tell their manager their absence is related to their menstrual cycle.


Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK. The symptoms associated with endometriosis (which can include pelvic and period pain, digestive issues, abnormal periods and fatigue) can often result in time off work and reduced productivity. Fifty-five percent of women have had to have time off work due to endometriosis, while 40% worry about losing their job and 27% say they’ve missed out on a promotion due to the impact of their condition.


Fertility challenges can be detrimental to a woman’s health and wellbeing and costly to their career. Eighty-six percent of women said that their productivity at work was strongly impacted by fertility challenges, and 16% quit their jobs because of the impact fertility treatment had. 

Additional caring responsibilities

Caregiving disproportionately affects women, exacerbating workplace inequality. An alarming 60% of women cite caregiving responsibilities for children and vulnerable relatives as barriers to pursuing new job opportunities or promotions.

Recognising, addressing, and supporting individuals with these additional responsibilities is crucial for fostering gender equality in the workplace.

It is evident that much more needs to be done to support female employees and address the additional unique pressures they may be under.

Supporting women’s wellbeing in the workplace is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic investment that can positively impact the overall success and sustainability of a company.

Let’s delve into the benefits.

The business benefits of recognising and supporting women’s wellbeing  

Increased job satisfaction and employee retention

Recognising and supporting women creates a more positive organisational culture and increases employee job satisfaction, making people more likely to remain loyal to the company. This, in turn, results in less money being spent on hiring and onboarding costs and creates a more stable and reliable workforce.

Increased productivity and decreased absenteeism

Many of the reproductive and hormonal issues mentioned above can cause significant physical discomfort. Consequently, this can impact work performance and increase absenteeism due to medical appointments and uncomfortable symptoms.

Supporting and prioritising women’s wellbeing can help decrease absenteeism, which then reduces costs, boosts productivity and creates more organisational stability.

Promoting inclusivity and attracting talent

Demonstrating commitment to women’s wellbeing conveys a powerful message of inclusivity and diversity and shows you’re an employer that goes the extra mile. This creates a positive reputation and workplace image, making you stand out as an employer of choice and more appealing to top-tier talent! 

How to recognise and support women’s wellbeing in the workplace

Recognising and supporting women’s wellbeing in the workplace is crucial for fostering an inclusive and thriving professional environment. Implementing strategic initiatives can make a significant difference in removing barriers and addressing the challenges that women face.

Manager education and awareness training

Begin by educating managers about the specific health and wellbeing challenges women encounter. Conduct workshops and training sessions to raise awareness of issues such as menopause, hormonal health, fertility, maternity health, mental health and work-life balance. This will empower managers to be more attuned to the needs of female employees and enable them to foster a supportive environment.

Create an open, supportive environment

Cultivating an open and inclusive workplace culture is vital. Establish channels for transparent communication where employees, regardless of gender, feel comfortable discussing their concerns. By encouraging open dialogue, you will create a comfortable and supportive atmosphere where women can voice their needs without fear of judgment.

Mentorship programmes and networking opportunities

If you want to boost confidence and contribute to professional growth, mentorship programmes and networking opportunities are essential. Provide opportunities for female employees to connect, share experiences and build a supportive professional community. Additionally, offering access to mentors who can provide guidance and support when dealing with female-specific challenges can be highly beneficial for your workplace culture.

Flexible working arrangements

Implementing flexible working arrangements shows you recognise the diverse responsibilities women often juggle. Remote work, flexible hours or compressed work weeks can promote a healthier work-life balance and can accommodate the various demands on women’s time, whether related to family, health or personal commitments.

Access to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)

Employee Assistance Programmes can help contribute to a positive workplace environment and enhance employees’ professional and personal lives, while being easy to access and convenient to use.

EAPs can provide confidential mental health counselling, advice and support on a range of issues, plus resources to promote personal development which together can all help to support women’s holistic wellbeing.

Incorporating these strategies into the workplace not only supports women’s wellbeing but also contributes to a more resilient, engaged and productive workforce. By fostering an environment that values inclusivity and flexibility, organisations can empower women to thrive, both personally and professionally!

How Medigold can help

Menopause and Health Training programmes

Enhance your organisation’s knowledge around menopause and gender-specific health issues. Our engaging training and webinars will equip you and your employees with the knowledge and tools necessary to foster a positive environment, promote wellbeing and minimise the impact of menopause and health issues within your business.

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)

Provide your team with access to top-tier, cost-effective support services. Our Employee Assistance Programmes include 24/7 access to accredited counsellors, an online health and wellbeing Portal, and professional medical advice from qualified nurses.

Management Referrals

Gain access to expert clinical advice to better understand and support your employees’ physical and mental health. Our management referral assessment service can provide you with guidance and recommendations on practical adjustments you can introduce to effectively address and support your employees’ specific health needs.

If you need expert advice on menopause or mental and physical health issues or want to better understand how to support your employees, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team are here to help; contact us here.

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