Why Reproductive Health Benefits Should be in Your 2024 Budget-image

Why Reproductive Health Benefits Should be in Your 2024 Budget

No longer seen as a ‘nice-to-have’, but an essential part of employee wellbeing, reproductive health and fertility benefits are increasingly becoming a top priority for employers. Here’s why they should be included in your budget. Quick facts: The rise of reproductive health benefits  With the dynamics of the workplace having rapidly shifted since the pandemic, more and more employees are prioritising their wellbeing and looking to their employers to provide well-rounded benefits packages.  Fertility and reproductive health support is emerging as a key employee need within this matrix. Demand for inclusive fertility benefits is growing year on year—with up to 71% of employers looking to adopt fertility benefits within the foreseeable future.  Additionally, the estimated global productivity loss due to employees experiencing menopausal symptoms is a staggering $150 billion a year. With around 20% of the workforce, according to Let’s Talk Menopause, being pre to post-menopausal, it’s clear to see that menopause benefits are also emerging as a vital lifeline for employers and employees alike.  However these initiatives aren’t just a tick box for improving D&I metrics—they can drive a significant impact on your organisations’ bottom line, with some providers seeing an ROI of x6 and upwards.  Here are the top four reasons why your organisation’s wellbeing budget should include a comprehensive fertility and reproductive health benefits package. Improved retention and reduced turnover costs Recent research from Fertility Network UK showed companies that are not supporting their employees through fertility treatments and journeys, including LGBTQIA+ individuals, has a significant negative impact on employee retention.  1 in 5 employees going through fertility treatment left their jobs due to insufficient support within the last 5 years alone. With the average cost to replace an employee in the UK being around £30K, it’s no secret that the right reproductive health and fertility support can have a positive impact on your bottom line through employee retention alone. Appealing to wider talent pools Despite previous sentiment that fertility benefits are just a concern for millennial employees, or just for women, reproductive health issues affect employees of all ages and identities across the talent pool.  1 in 3 Gen Z employees think fertility benefits should be a part of their package and are actively looking for employers that offer attractive, well-rounded benefits.  At the other end of the spectrum, perimenopausal and menopausal women are seeking employers with rigorous menopause support policies—with 42% considering quitting their jobs due to symptoms.  With job ads citing fertility benefits up by 700% since March 2022, fertility benefits are fast becoming an important factor in diverse talent acquisition at all organisational levels. This rings especially true for companies looking to attract women into senior leadership positions and improve gender diversity at the top. Fostering a culture of care  Fertility benefits signal to your workforce that you, as an organisation, are committed to supporting your employees beyond the scope of the office. This can demonstrate to your employees that you care about them as individuals, whatever life stage they are at.  Creating an environment where employees feel supported through any struggles, or simply aware that they have options should they need them, helps to foster a culture of care that translates into improved productivity and overall employee satisfaction. Upstream and downstream cost savings Whilst fertility benefit packages might seem like less of a priority compared to mental or physical health initiatives during times of tighter budgets, the upstream and downstream savings can have significant longer-term ROI.  Reproductive health is intimately linked to mental and physical wellbeing. Offering a well-rounded support package that focuses on education in addition to reproductive health testing and treatment can initiate preventative care, reducing longer-term costs like employee absence. Getting started with reproductive health benefits Reproductive health benefits are far more than simply covering the cost of IVF treatments or extra time off for menopause support. Impactful initiatives should be multifactorial, focusing on community-building and education right through to treatment support.  Regardless of life stage or identity, all employees should feel supported across the physical and mental wellbeing spectrum. The Hertility productivity loss calculator can help you decipher your estimated annual losses from employee reproductive health. In turn, you can accurately estimate your workforce’s needs for fertility and reproductive health benefits—the first step towards building a robust business case. Contact benefits@hertilityhealth.com to find out how reproductive health support can positively impact your people and business.

International Women’s Day: Fostering Inclusion & Empowering Future Leaders-image

International Women’s Day: Fostering Inclusion & Empowering Future Leaders

International Women’s Day (IWD) is an important annual event for celebrating all of your employees who identify as women. In this article, we give a quick recap of the day’s history and how to embrace its sentiment every day of the year. Quick facts: What is International Women’s Day? International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on the 8th of March. A day of global signification, IWD celebrates and champions the social, economic and political achievements of women everywhere. Each IWD has a theme that reflects current struggles or aspirations for women around the world. The 2024 theme will be #inspireinclusion. History and significance  IWD was first recognised in 1977 by the United Nations. It has its origins in early Twentieth-century labour movements, which facilitated some of the first organised strikes for female workers.  Today, it has evolved into a growing international women’s rights movement that underscores the work that is yet to be done for global gender equity.  Why IWD matters for your organisation IWD is an incredibly important event for any organisation’s internal events calendar. It provides a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to fostering gender equity within the workplace, year-round.  By celebrating the achievements of female colleagues and leadership, organisations can foster an environment of support, inclusion and respect for women within their workplaces. This is far from trivial and has been proven to improve female talent retention and contribute to meaningful diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Representation matters at all levels of an organisation. Workplaces that actively seek to champion their female employees can inspire future generations of female leaders who can help build a more inclusive and diverse workforce.  Year-round female health initiatives  Any IWD events should be supported with year-round initiatives that support your female employees. Reproductive health benefits are fast becoming a cornerstone of any progressive employee wellbeing support. We believe that knowledge is power and hosting education sessions for your team centred around awareness days helps to educate everyone across the business, whilst bringing recognition to important issues. This can in turn foster your organisation’s culture whilst making your employees feel seen and supported. Here are some key awareness days to build into your internal events calendar.  From family-forming to menopause in the workplace, we deliver specialist CPD-accredited education sessions for the entire workforce that can help to empower your people.  Don’t just take our word for it . “Dr Helen and the Hertility team did a phenomenal job in educating our workforce on all things menopause related. It was done in such an approachable and engaging way.” – Flora Kong, the Co Chair of The One Gender Equality Network at Dentsu commented on the impact of our education delivered to Dentsu employees.  Get in touch with our team to learn how we can support you with your journey to becoming a Reproductively Responsible™ employer.

The Undeniable Impact of Women in Senior Leadership Roles and Strategies for Retention-image

The Undeniable Impact of Women in Senior Leadership Roles and Strategies for Retention

In this article, we’ll explain why women are so integral to senior leadership roles for the effective operation of organisations, both internally and externally. As well as lay out some effective approaches companies ought to adopt to ensure senior female retention.   Quick facts: Current workplace gender imbalance The benefits of gender equity within the workplace, particularly for top-down initiatives, are well known, well documented and certainly well reported.  But even in the face of such benefits, gender imbalance, especially across senior leadership and boards, overwhelmingly persists. Globally, male employees occupy an incredible 65-95% of senior roles.  Any progressive employer should not only be striving for gender balance within the workplace but actively ensuring they have an effective gender parity strategy in place to plug current organisational gaps. Not only should strategies focus on upward mobility for women but also on retention for female leaders. Effective strategies often require nuanced approaches that span employee benefits, competency-based hiring and pay and the need for a cultural shift in often deep-rooted, systemic biases.  The impact of women in leadership Here are some of the top line and most well documented positive impacts that gender equity and increased numbers of women within senior leadership teams can offer organisations. Improved organisational performance  Countless studies have shown a clear and definite correlation between women in senior leadership and improved company performance. This not only applies to improved financial performance but extends granularly into individual employee performance.  Studies have also shown that an increased number of women on board teams can de-risk company performance, reducing the incidence of lawsuits, corporate crimes and tarnished organisational reputations.  Increased innovation In addition to performance, organisations with a higher percentage of women in senior leadership have been found to both invest more in innovation and be more innovative overall.  This has been attributed to increased diversity, viewpoints and creative approaches to decision making apparent within gender-equitable senior leadership teams.  Enhanced employee engagement  Studies have also found that an increased number of women in senior leadership improves overall employee engagement and retention—regardless of gender or identity.  Employees from companies with higher proportions of women are more likely to report overall levels of job satisfaction and positive organisational culture.  Women are more likely to embody empathy and prioritise communication within their leadership style, often driving a more positive and meaningful workplace culture.   Strategies for retention Effective retention strategies are multi-faceted and can include a number of the following iniatives alongside organisational policy change. Address gender pay gaps Despite women in SLT performing, often better than their male counterparts and contributing to improved company performance, they still earn significantly less than men.  Ensuring transparency across pay structures is essential for acquiring top talent and retaining the best female employees. Fair compensation reflective of competency, irrespective of gender, combined with regular reviews and a clear commitment to closing any outstanding pay gaps is critical.  Offer fertility and reproductive health benefits Over 1 million women have left the workplace due to menopausal symptoms and a further 1 in 5 employees going through fertility treatment left their jobs due to insufficient support within the last 5 years alone. Offering fertility and reproductive health benefits has been found to significantly improve retention and employee engagement. These benefits can particularly help female employees, both through challenging life events, like menopause and fertility struggles—but also via mitigating potential future health issues and concerns. Companies need to remember that women’s hormones impact them for nearly their entire lifespan and the workplace needs to cater for these changes.  Educate employees on second-generation gender bias Harvard Business Review recently reported that an integral part of upward organisational mobilisation for women is the removal of second-generation bias. This is often deeply rooted in organisational practices, creating ‘invisible’ barriers for women.  Bias can lead not only to a reduced number of women in SLT but also implicitly hostile working environments for them when they get there. Making employees aware of bias can radically alter attitudes and foster possibilities for meaningful change.  The future of your senior teams  Forbes recently reported on studies highlighting that to see the benefits of an increased number of female leaders, a critical mass of a 30% female team is needed. Forbes similarly reported the need for a Reproductive Revolution in the workplace. This maps onto things like company performance, competency based pay and employee engagement.  The need for women within leadership is, evidently, more crucial than ever. The Economist and McKinsey Global Institute estimate that if global workplace gender gaps were bridged the global economy would surge by 26%. Any successful 21st century business should adopt a rigorous gender parity strategy focusing not only on upward mobilisation but also retention. Contact the Hertility team to learn how we can support you with your journey to becoming a Reproductively Responsible™ employer.