Why It’s Important To Include Women-Centric Corporate Wellness Programs
One measure of powerful and potent corporate wellness programming is the focussed inclusion of women’s health concerns. While having a corporate wellness plan trumps having none, it would be incorrect to call it either ‘comprehensive’ or ‘inclusive’ without an understanding, appreciation, and addressal of health concerns that are unique and specific to women. In fact, I would go as far as to say that lack of such an approach or willingness to consider one is part of a bigger, deeper malaise and behavior pattern that plagues approach to women in the corporate sector or women at work, at large.
Try gathering statistics on the same. It’s dismal! My own experience over the years with wellness programming across different sizes of corporate entities corroborates that while there might often be a token acknowledgment that “it is a good idea” to include such modules, sadly, practical implementation, with any teeth, is still wanting. Those companies that have paid heed to this suggestion seriously have seen marked positive differences across several parameters, not limited to employee satisfaction alone.
It’s not about feminism, so let’s not be myopic, dismissive, or naive. There are some imperative ground reasons to seriously start respecting and addressing women’s health issues at work.
I find it strange to keep pointing out that women may often find it difficult and be hesitant in raising health concerns specific to them in a common forum. The biological functioning is different for men and women, and there are health issues that women experience more and/or differently as a result of this natural design. Social conditioning plays a huge role in this hesitation, too. What is stranger is the fact that most men are witness to this reality at home yet, somehow forget or choose to ignore it with respect to their female counterparts at work. When women may want privacy about these in a smaller home setting, what makes one think that it will be different in a much larger work ambience?!
That women contribute to the economic growth of companies they work for is an irrefutable fact. They constitute a dedicated part of the workforce and show high levels of allegiance. They make for strong, effective, and able leaders. Not having a support system at work has been known to cause them dropping off the work sector. Health issues, among others, is a concerning factor. Not tapping into and nurturing this section is economic short-sightedness not just for companies but for the country at large. It also speaks volumes about (lack of) corporate will!
How are you truly “inclusive” without including women’s concerns with any seriousness? Doesn’t it remain a fashionable inclusion to vocabulary, at best?
Women are part of “diversity” at work. Their inadequate representation and/or insufficient attention to their issues at work (mental, physical, emotional health, etc.) flies in the face of claims to the contrary.
Action is what makes an efficacious leader, not mere rhetoric. A dynamic and strong leadership will proactively seek to equitably address the concerns of its diverse workforce. This includes dedicated wellness programs for women at work. This is also how men can walk the talk and truly support their women counterparts.
Best Places To Work = Best Corporate Wellness Plans
It is not surprising that these two indices are tied together. Some of the most coveted companies globally and those voted as having the best wellness plans are ones that recognize, encourage, and respect women at their place of work. This includes a genuine approach to their specific needs, cognizant of some (if not all) of the points above to make the work environment as conducive for them as possible.
How does your company and leadership score on these points?
About Vani Pahwa
Vani B. Pahwa is Health & Wellness Evangelist, and Founder, Body In Motion, who specializes in Functional-Fitness, and Cancer Exercise & Rehabilitation. With almost 2 decades of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally-recognized fitness institutions, Vani is the leading Wellness Expert for Multinational Corporations and is a recognized Speaker and Coach. An Indian Classical Dancer, Vani encompasses her learnings from dance to everyday movement making “exercise and training for life, not just events.” To know more about Vani and her premium wellness services, visit https://www.bodyinmotion.in