While maternity and menopause are significant aspects of women’s health, they represent just a fraction of the broader spectrum of needs throughout a woman’s life. From menstrual health to mental wellness, and from reproductive care to chronic disease management, women’s health encompasses various stages and conditions that require comprehensive support and understanding.

A multigenerational women’s health strategy acknowledges that women at different life stages have unique health needs. By addressing these needs proactively, employers can create a supportive environment that enhances overall wellbeing, job satisfaction, and productivity. This approach is about accommodating biological differences and fostering an inclusive culture that recognises and values the diversity of women’s experiences.


29% of women would like more support from their employer for their physical health - Mind the Gap 2023


So – how can employers create a strategy that caters to the diverse needs of a multigenerational employee population?


Understand employee needs

First, companies need to understand the challenges that the women in their organisation face. Creating an effective strategy starts with recognising the distinct health needs of women at different life stages; there will be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Companies should assess the needs of their employee population, providing support across areas broader than just menstrual health or menopause. Historically, men have been treated as the default patients, marginalising women’s health concerns (Modi, 2022). Besides gynaecological-related issues, there are numerous other medical conditions that are more likely to impact women than men – such as autoimmune conditions, osteoporosis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease[1]. Yet typically health strategies for women focus only on gynaecological health issues, leaving significant gaps in the provisions offered to half our population.


Focus on preventative care and education

Although employers cannot be responsible for societal healthcare gaps, they can work to narrow gaps within their work environment. One way is through preventive care and education, which is crucial in promoting long-term health among employees.

Regular screenings for conditions like breast and cervical cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease can be emphasised through communications – or even supported by implementing proactive medical screening services as part of a benefits package. Proactive education and creating a culture that facilitates access to medical treatment is key; studies suggest that women will typically receive late diagnosis and will self-treat conditions or use alternative therapies, as they are often reluctant to access traditional healthcare [2]. This reluctance can result from barriers such as having bad experiences, being dismissed, or receiving less social support, all resulting in negative connotations of healthcare [3].


‘More than 4 in 5 (84%) women went on to tell us there have been times when they (or the woman they had in mind) were not listened to by healthcare professionals.’ – Department of Health and Social Care 2022


Educational programs about nutrition, physical activity, and mental health can enable women to manage their health, and line manager training can help support access. Tailored educational materials can be developed for different age groups to address their specific concerns and challenges.


Provide access to comprehensive healthcare

Ensuring that women have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare throughout their lives is fundamental. This includes primary care, gynaecology, mental health services, and specialised care for chronic conditions. Offering a health cash plan could help women have more autonomy over the health problems they face, and could positively impact retention, productivity, reduced absence, and overall wellbeing.


A quarter of women are worried about their physical health to the extent it negatively impacts their work performance. - Mind the Gap 2023


Foster support networks

The challenges that women face can only be overcome in a culture that encourages transparency and supports breaking down the taboo and stigma surrounding women’s health.

Creating resources, using internal communications, creating a peer scheme, and training managers are all ways to help foster a more transparent culture that can engage in topics surrounding women’s health.

Keeping women in the workforce is good for business; various studies have shown that companies who focus on retaining their female employees have better business outcomes. A study by S&P Global found that in the two years following their appointment, female CEOs saw a 20% increase in stock price momentum – and companies with greater diversity on their board were more profitable than those who were less diverse[4]. By incorporating health strategies into wider DEI objectives, companies will be taking a holistic approach to supporting the women in their workplace.


Measure and evaluate outcomes

From the outset, companies should consider what constitutes success and ensure they are tracking the correct data to inform this. Reviewing metrics should be a regular occurrence, and data should be used to identify gaps, track progress, and make necessary adjustments.

Feedback from women in your employee population and across generations can be solicited through surveys, one-to-ones, and town halls to continually inform and improve the strategy.


[1] https://www.bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/teach-me/medical-conditions-that-impact-women-more-than-men

[2] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8360537/, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255634

[3] www.bma.org.uk/news-and-opinion/closing-the-gender-health-gap-the-importance-of-a-women-s-health-strategy#:~:text=Men%20have%20historically%20been%20treated

[4] https://heritagefinancial.net/the-undeniable-connection-between-female-ceos-and-stock-prices