The companies with the best women's health benefits 2024

How companies are pioneering inclusive women's health plans and employee benefits in 2024.

4
min read
Published
1/1/2024

In the contemporary corporate landscape, forward-thinking companies are recognising the importance of tailoring health plans to address the needs of their female workforce. From comprehensive reproductive health coverage to addressing menopausal and menstrual health challenges, organisations are making strides in ensuring gender equality in their employee benefits. Creating a truly inclusive workplace means making sure that all employees, including LGBTQ+ colleagues, have access to comprehensive reproductive health benefits. It's about celebrating diversity and making sure every individual feels supported and valued in their health journey. In this article, we will look at how companies are leading the charge in offering cutting-edge health plans and benefits that cater to the diverse health needs of women and female employees in 2024.

Why women's health benefits are so important

Women's health benefits signal your proactive commitment as an employer to support women in the workplace with their mental and physical health. Initiatives like this are invaluable in attracting top talent to your teams, particularly for companies striving to enhance gender diversity within their senior leadership ranks. Research suggests that businesses with executive teams comprising over 33% female members enjoy net profit margins ten times greater than those without female representation in these positions.

Beyond the obvious benefits of diversity, where employers view women's health benefits as a means to strengthen their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, there is also a significant impact on staff retention when companies fail to support all employees irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. Given the average cost of £30,000 to replace an employee, there is a clear financial incentive to provide the right support for your workforce as it can have a positive effect on your bottom line.

To genuinely foster a diverse and inclusive workplace for all, it is imperative to provide unwavering support to individuals throughout what can often be a challenging and lengthy journey. Without comprehensive women's health support, a company's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion remains incomplete and inauthentic.

Understanding women's health in the workplace

Women's health can be a broad topic and can mean a lot of different things. When we speak about women's health, we encompass a wide range of circumstances that can affect individuals assigned female at birth.

It's important to recognise that some employees who need to use these benefits may not identify as female. Women's health benefits should be available to all employees, no matter their gender identity.

This means recognising the full range of women's health challenges such as monthly menstruation or menstrual health, fertility journeys, gynaecological cancers, reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, and the unique healthcare needs of pregnant and menopausal women. By acknowledging and addressing these key issues, companies play a pivotal role in fostering equitable workplaces and supporting the overall health and wellbeing of their employees.

What to include in the benefits

Incorporating women's health into a company's employee benefit offerings should be led both by top executives and HR teams. When top management takes the lead, it sets the tone for a supportive environment where women's health is a priority in both values and benefits.

A comprehensive women's health benefits package is an essential part of supporting your employees' wellbeing. It's about more than just financial assistance for various health services; it should also include a dedicated team of experts in women's health conditions. This team may consist of relevant healthcare professionals such as gynaecologists, nutritionists, psychologists, nurses, and wellness professionals who provide emotional and practical support throughout the health and wellness journey of employees.

When evaluating a health benefits platform for female employees, it's important to ensure that it offers inclusive coverage for all members of your organisation, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, or marital status. This means providing a wide range of services, including support for pregnant women, family planning, maternity leave options, support services for chronic conditions (such as breast cancer and cervical cancer), and other employee health issues including menopause and access to mental health services. It's equally important to collaborate with healthcare providers, reproductive health services, fertility clinics, and clinics specialising in women's health and eliminate the need for a specific diagnosis to access these services.

Here are some examples of what successful women's benefits packages include: 

1. Fertility coverage and support

A company's fertility support should acknowledge the diverse fertility challenges people may face in their reproductive journeys such as fertility treatment, adoption, and surrogacy, and should make sure the language of the coverage includes people of all genders, sexual orientations, and relationship statuses.

If health insurance plans are available, they should cover fertility treatments, as well as other family-forming treatments or processes for employees seeking to start a family. It's important to have inclusive benefits, addressing the needs of same-sex couples and transgender individuals as well.

37% of employees struggling with fertility said they were getting little to no support from their employers, and 78% said that fertility support was very important when considering a new job or employer. Fertility support is a must for all women's health benefits packages.

2. Pregnancy and parental support

- Pregnancy support could include recognising the healthcare costs associated with pregnancy and helping alleviate that for employees.

- It could include providing comprehensive health plans that cater to the needs of pregnant people, covering prenatal care, maternity leave, and postpartum support.

- Companies should consider extended paid leave to support pregnant or nursing employees, as well as partners of pregnant or nursing employees. Again, this coverage should extend to new parents of adopted children to be most inclusive.

- Support could include coverage for child care services or facilitation of child care. This lightens the burden for working parents, fostering a workplace environment that truly prioritises work-life balance.

Most importantly, all companies should be demonstrating a commitment to the health and wellbeing of female workers throughout their entire pregnancy journey.

3. Menopausal health

- Benefits should address the mental and physical health challenges created by menopause including hot flushes, and recognise their unique impact on women in the workplace. This could look like having a water cooler in the office or giving out mini handheld fans for those who need them, for example.

- Corporate healthcare schemes should consider menopause symptom support an integral part of women's overall wellbeing.

- Menopausal symptoms: for more detail on what these might be, take a look at our article on menopausal symptoms.

89% of people say they have a more favourable opinion of their employer for offering menopause support. It is imperative to foster an inclusive workplace that supports people at all stages of their professional and personal lives.

4. Insurance coverage and care navigation

- As mentioned above, health insurance plans should be tailored to address gender-specific health needs.

- In addition, companies should look to include assistance for managing chronic conditions like cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. This is vital for long-term health and productivity.

Broadly, companies should recognise the gender gap in healthcare and take steps to bridge it through comprehensive insurance coverage.

5. Proactive employee health and wellbeing initiatives

- Successful companies have implemented wellbeing strategies that go beyond basic healthcare, addressing mental health concerns and fostering overall wellbeing. Of course access to specialist support for mental health issues is not a benefit exclusive to women's health; mental health care is indispensable.

Poor concentration, brain fog and low mood are all associated with women's health concerns. It is central to a positive women's health strategy, helping promote emotional and psychological wellbeing for all employees.

If you're looking for ways you can provide support for mental health issues in the workplace, please visit our mental health and wellbeing guidelines and policy template.

6. Working examples from companies whose benefits packages we admire:

We understand that every company is unique, and that all are limited to some degree by the resources available to them. Here, we've put together a list of working benefits that we feel acknowledges the varying levels of financial resources for women different companies are able to commit. Hopefully, you might see something you like that also works for you!

- Tuition reimbursement (a significant commitment we know, but any amount of tuition reimbursement is always valuable).

- Tuition assistance

- Flexible work schedules - enables full-time employees to balance personal and professional obligations, and promote a healthy work-life balance

- Menstrual health care for women

- Mental health benefits

- Gym membership (these can also promote healthy lifestyles)

- Dental care

- Training budget - This can include support for personal development opportunities and/or career development training.

- Employee assistance programmes - please visit this government guide for more information

- Unlimited holiday (we appreciate this may only be viable at companies with particular working arrangements)

- Alternative working spaces - (safe spaces for those in the office, remote employees and those with flexible working arrangements specific to them)

- Life insurance

- Pet insurance

- Disability insurance

- Vision insurance

- Medical insurance

- Student loan reimbursement - Student loans are expensive and a significant financial burden to carry. We understand only a certain number of companies will be able to offer this, but any amount of employer-funded support is valuable, although we understand 

- Internet reimbursement

- Stock options

- Commuter benefits

- Care for children

- Backup care - From time to time, parents may need urgent childcare support. Access to backup care services such as Bright Horizons can help you provide this.

- Apple Music and Spotify subscriptions

- Employee discounts

- Wellbeing programmes

- Company holidays

We appreciate that many of the above do not apply exclusively to women. However, they can all promote a holistic approach to women's health that extends beyond medical coverage.

We know it's unrealistic for a company to be able to offer all the above, but it's important to remember the positive impacts generous benefits packages can have on employee satisfaction, and giving your company a competitive edge.

So why wait?

By offering comprehensive women's health benefits, companies can significantly improve their employees' physical and mental wellbeing. This creates an inclusive and supportive workplace culture where everyone feels valued and accepted, leading to better health outcomes for your team and increased overall happiness — an advantage for everyone.

The future of women's health in the workplace lies in comprehensive health plans and employee benefits that recognise and address the unique health challenges faced by women. By championing gender equality through inclusive benefits, companies are not only enhancing the overall wellbeing of their female employees but are also contributing to a more supportive and progressive work environment.

Get in touch to discover more!

If you're looking to put women's health support and benefits in place, book in a call with our team who can talk you through how to work with Fertifa 💜