Why Does Investing in Menstrual Health Boost Workplace Success?

Building upon its successful introduction in Taiwan, TEC expands its partnership with LUÜNA to Singapore, pioneering planet-friendly menstrual care in workplace amenities and reaffirming its leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. To celebrate, TEC hosted a dynamic event centred on women's health in the workplace, igniting conversations on inclusivity and empowerment.
Two female leaders from The Executive Centre and LUÜNA taking photos at a partnership event in Singapore

On 30th May 2024, Singapore welcomed the partnership between TEC and LUÜNA, a sustainable period care company, marking a pivotal moment in workplace wellness. To commemorate the occasion, TEC hosted an enlightening evening, fostering a profound discourse on the interplay between women’s health and workplace dynamics. The event, comprising panel discussions, a networking session, and an interactive social impact activation, served as a powerful platform for dialogue, education, and allyship.

Esteemed industry leaders, including Gwendolen Wong, our City Head of Singapore; Olivia Cotes-James, the Founder and CEO of LUÜNA; Nicole Golloso, Director of HR and Corporate Communications at McCann Singapore and Hong Kong; Anita Jiawen Sadasivan, Co-founder of MindFi and The Brass Barre; and Benjamin Lum, Global Partnerships Manager at Zora Health, convened to share their valuable insights during the panel discussions.

Below are the key takeaways.

The Gender Health Gap

Despite women's statistically longer life expectancy, the McKinsey Health Gap Report of 2024 unveils a disquieting truth: women endure 25% more of their lives in a state of compromised health. This disparity casts a pervasive shadow across various spheres, notably impacting workplace performance and career trajectories.

Research indicates that 57% of women believe gynaecological or hormonal health conditions have negatively impacted their careers, with 81% expressing scepticism about their employer’s willingness to make reasonable adjustments in response. Common symptoms at work include mood disturbances (55%), concentration difficulties (52%), and physical discomfort (46%). For women in their 40s and 50s, menopause presents additional challenges, with a staggering 73% reporting insomnia—a symptom that inevitably hampers productivity.

The profound implications of these findings underscore a systemic imbalance, shedding light on entrenched inequities that obstruct women’s access to healthcare and impede their professional advancement.

A woman presenting LUÜNA's brand mission and product to a group of people at a partnership event in Singapore's Capital Square Centre

The Impact on Workplace Culture

Unaddressed health issues create a challenging environment for women in the workplace. Societal taboos and workplace biases exacerbate these challenges, leading to a lack of support and understanding from employers and colleagues. This not only perpetuates inequality but also erodes morale and cohesion within organisational settings.

By prioritising women's health, organisations can cultivate a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture. Addressing these health needs openly and empathetically helps to break down stigmas and fosters an environment where all employees feel valued and understood. This shift not only enhances overall workplace morale but also aligns with the core values of modern, progressive companies committed to diversity and inclusion.

Four women networking at The Executive Centre x LUÜNA partnership event in Singapore, standing around a table with flowers

The Impact on Career & Leadership Dynamics

The health challenges women face, including those related to menopause and menstrual symptoms, have a profound impact on their career trajectories. Research shows that almost a quarter of working women have considered quitting their jobs due to these symptoms, with 14% actively planning to resign. This alarming pattern not only jeopardises the retention of valuable talent but also limits the pool of female candidates to advance into leadership roles.

Strategies for Change

Effecting substantive change requires a multi-faceted approach.

Key strategies include:

  • Conducting educational workshops and leadership training on women’s health, pertinent issues, and effective solutions
  • Adopting flexible policies to accommodate diverse health needs
  • Destigmatising conversations around menstruation and menopause
  • Incorporating women's health considerations into benefits and wellbeing plans
  • Providing access to resources such as complimentary menstrual care in the workplace
  • Fostering supportive peer networks within the organisation

By nurturing cultures steeped in empathy and understanding, organisations hold the key to empowering women to thrive irrespective of health status, thereby catalysing heightened engagement and productivity. Inclusive practices hold the potential to transform workplace dynamics, paving the way for more equitable leadership opportunities and a culture of belonging.

Female and male leaders leading a panel discussion at The Executive Centre x LUÜNA partnership event in Singapore

The Crucial Role of Allyship

Allyship is critical in advancing women's health equity within the workplace. By amplifying marginalised voices, challenging harmful stereotypes, and advocating for inclusive policies and practices, allies become catalysts for change. Forging alliances across gender lines is not just an act of empathy—it's a strategic imperative for driving lasting transformation, fostering social cohesion and inspiring a sense of collective responsibility for creating a more equitable and inclusive work environment for all.

Economic Benefits

The economic impact of women-specific health issues is substantial, with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry estimating annual losses of approximately USD 23 billion. Closing the gender health gap, however, could significantly enhance global economic productivity, with projections from The World Economic Forum suggesting a staggering USD 1 trillion annual improvement. Moreover, a recent BlackRock study found that companies with gender diversity at all levels outperform less diverse counterparts, emphasising the critical importance of attracting and retaining women across all organisational levels.

Investing in women's well-being, therefore, is not just ethically imperative but also financially astute. From reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs to enhanced productivity, innovation, and employee retention, the manifold dividends of prioritising women's health are undeniable, underscoring the business case for systemic change. By recognising women’s health as a strategic business imperative, organisations are better positioned to realise the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth.

A group of female and male coworkers networking in the Lounge Area at The Executive Centre x LUÜNA partnership event in Singapore

Armed with newfound insights and a collective resolve, attendees left the event with a renewed commitment to a future where women's health is not merely acknowledged but celebrated. In this shared vision lies the promise of a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous world—a world where workplace wellness transcends rhetoric, empowering every individual, regardless of gender, to thrive and succeed.