Wednesday, Mar 2, 2022

On International Woman’s Day, let’s make women’s health a priority.

Kevin AliCEO, Organon

HLTH Foundation

Sponsored by Organon

The pandemic has significantly affected women’s health and well-being. As business leaders, we have an opportunity to help address this disparity gap that puts all of society at risk.

On March 8, the world will observe International Women’s Day. For more than a century, this has been a day to raise awareness of the need for gender equity. However, the pandemic has made it obvious that we need to prioritize the role of health in achieving that vision of equity, including in our workforces.  

The reality is, women are more exhausted than ever, and are experiencing higher levels of burnout than their male counterparts. What’s more, a recent survey found that 44% of older women said they waited until a health symptom became urgent before scheduling an appointment – and that number jumps to 62% for women aged 20-34. 

COVID-19 has accelerated and exacerbated existing health inequities. Even before the pandemic, a 2015 study reported that 78% of women said they de-prioritized their own healthcare needs to care for others. 

This needs to change. We established Organon last year – in the middle of the pandemic – and launched not only our company, but a commitment to listen to women and work to help address their unmet medical needs. And what we have heard is that when women are unable to prioritize their own needs, the health gap widens, putting all of us at risk. 

I feel compelled to raise awareness of this issue and I hope we can use International Women’s Day to provide the spark needed to take action. 

For our part, Organon is giving our nearly 9,500 global employees paid time off to focus on their own health and on the health of women in their lives. We hope that encouraging all our employees to make a commitment to their health needs— whether that means going to the doctor, taking stock of their own well-being or reflecting on how to make a change for women’s health overall—can start to create the change we need to see. 

We hope that International Women’s Day is a day of recognition and reflection and inspires other organizations to adopt initiatives that enable women to prioritize themselves and their health. Everyone has a role to play, although each organization can take a different approach to reach this common goal. This could include anything from paid time off to a focus on implementing benefits and policies that address the unique needs of women. 

No single action or single day is sufficient to deliver equitable health to all women, but International Women’s Day is a way to shine a light on an issue desperately needing change. The good news is, we’re at a moment where that change is possible, in part because the pandemic has created important conversations that are challenging us to best support our employees. 

If we can work together to help women prioritize their health, we may be able to look back at this era as the time we collectively made a difference for women, helping them achieve better health, and in doing so, advancing gender equity.  

Check out this link for more information. 

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