Women’s health at work
Around 16 million women are in work in the UK†. Many face physical and mental health challenges that affect their wellbeing as well as their ability to perform at their best.
We want women’s health to be higher on the workplace agenda
In 2020, a record of around 16 million women were in employment in the UK†. But women face particular health concerns, and don’t all feel well-supported at work.
Women can’t perform well if they’re exhausted or struggling with physical or mental health symptoms. That’s not good for them, their employer, or for our economy.
So if you’ve ever had a health problem at work but you didn’t feel you could talk to your manager about it, or you want to know how to support your colleagues, we’ve got tools and ideas to help.
Or, if you’re a manager, we have useful guides to promote women’s health at work.
Menopause at work
Almost four million working women in Britain are aged between 45 and 55, and women over 50 represent the fastest-growing section of the workforce‡. Yet almost half of them feel they couldn’t tell their workplace that having to take a day off was because of the menopause. In fact, 1 in 4 women have left jobs as a result of feeling unwell due to the menopause.††
Menopause should be a subject that’s discussed openly in the workplace. We’d like to see greater understanding, and more women feeling well - and well-supported.
Endometriosis at work
One in 10 women live with endometriosis, so it affects a large proportion of the workforce. Yet almost four in 10 women with endometriosis fear losing their job because of it, and over a third say they earn less because of it. These were the findings of research into endometriosis which was commissioned by MPs in 2020‡‡
Endometriosis symptoms can be severe and can have a significant impact on confidence and performance at work. Pain, exhaustion, mental health issues and infertility are just a few of the very genuine reasons why endometriosis sufferers may struggle to be productive or may even need time off sick.
Women’s health: We’re in this together
We’ve hand-picked a few articles offering information and advice on women’s health from Bupa’s experts.
Quick links to helpful pages within our Women’s Health Hub
† Women and the Economy (PDF, 0.4MB), a House of Commons briefing paper, 2 March 2021, page 3. Last accessed 14 February 2022.
‡ Menopause is forcing women to retire early, government adviser warns at People Management, 7 December 2021. Last accessed 14 February 2022
†† Menopause and employment: how to enable fulfilling working lives | Phoenix Group (thephoenixgroup.com) 50 Plus Employer Taskforce, 2021. Last accessed 14 February 2022.
‡‡ Endometriosis in the UK: Time for change, a 2020 report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis. Last accessed 14 February 2022
- One in 10 women live with endometriosis: page 12
- Almost four in 10 women fear losing their job: page 7
- Over a third say they earn less because of it: page 7