Gender-specific support in the workplace is anticipated to expand significantly in 2023 and employers must be prepared, according to digital health app Peppy.
Inclusion and equality are still top priorities but according to Peppy companies need to realise that only providing general health information or support will not materially improve the health and wellbeing of their employees or significantly alter business outcomes.
Peppy emphasises that there could be some damaging ramifications that may be felt in 2023 if employers do not take a gender-specific approach to employee benefits. If gender-specific support is not in place, it may be more difficult to attract and keep a certain demographic, and if employees are unable to resolve their health issues, their absence rates and likelihood to resign may rise.
Peppy also says a broader women’s health strategy is required to address issues like female-biased cancers, gynaecological issues, and reproductive health in order to appeal to all female staff members and those who were assigned female at birth. Employers should be aware that menopause is only one of many health issues that affect women in the workplace.
Peppy director of menopause Kathy Abernethy says: “Menopause support is a great place to start for employers who do not currently have any gender-specific support in place, as the symptoms of menopause could affect as much as half of the employed population at some point during their career. Employers should also try to think more broadly and ensure they have support in place that meets the health needs of women of all ages – whether they are struggling with an acute illness or a nagging chronic condition.”
According to Peppy, men are typically under-served by the healthcare system because they interact with doctors and other medical professionals less frequently and are less likely to ask for help with health-related issues. But workplace health support must emphasise male-specific conditions like prostate problems, testicular cancer, heart disorders, mental health issues, and men’s fitness while reinforcing messaging about confidentiality and accessibility if it is to be appealing to men.
Peppy director of Men’s Health Helen Lake says: “We know that while the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ may appeal to women, many men find opening up and discussing their health matters a huge hurdle. Therefore, for men in particular, communicating gender-specific health support in the workplace is as much about specific conditions as it is about emphasising discretion, privacy and convenience.”