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International Women's Day 2023 Press Release Banner

Press announcement

Promoting Women's Health and Safety: Expert Advice for Organisations

With International Women’s Day (8 March) fast approaching, International SOS encourages employers to recognise how women’s health and safety issues can have a detrimental impact on their workforce, and to take steps to create a culture that promotes awareness and equity.

International SOS’ case data shows top health concerns for females in 2022 included infectious diseases, respiratory illnesses, heart attacks and accidents and injuries. Requests for mental health assistance were common. Research shows that mental health issues affect both men and women, but not in equal measure1.

Dr Irene Lai, Group Medical Director at International SOS, comments
Organisations can do a lot to improve the health and safety of their female population. Gender-based differences need to be considered when developing policies for workplace wellbeing programmes, but importantly also for travel management programmes. Creating tailored wellbeing initiatives that respond directly to women’s specific health requirements can go a long way in increasing female employee engagement and ensuring that women feel supported and understood in the workplace. Awareness and education can help break down the stigma and create a culture where open and supportive conversations about all health issues, regardless of gender, are the norm.
Female safety risks are also prevalent in both personal and professional settings. Women can face various forms of threats to their safety, such as physical and sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination. By acknowledging the unique challenges which women may experience and implementing policies and training that address these risks, organisations can create a safe and supportive environment for all employees.

Sally Llewellyn, Global Security Director at International SOS adds
Empowering women to participate in the same opportunities as their male colleagues, including travelling to or working in higher risk environments, is an important way to drive female participation in the workplace and offer diverse career pathways. Organisations can support this empowerment through sound risk management practices, including educating employees about security risks and mitigation measures based on the environments in which they’re operating and their individual profile.

Women's Health and Safety Tips

International SOS shares top tips on how organisations can help promote women’s health and safety:

  1. Understand the healthcare support and benefits your workforce needs and regularly review your wellbeing programmes: survey your employees to better understand which workplace interventions would best support them.
  2. Build a culture of inclusion: encourage open communication to reduce taboos and stigma. Discussing employee wellbeing regularly, helps to normalise conversations and make them more inclusive.
  3. Provide pre-travel training: ensure that travelling employees understand the risks in their destinations, in particular differences or trouble spots that may apply to women.
  4. Promote health: provide employees with accurate information about health risks through participation in events such as International Women’s Day and World Health Days.
  5. Encourage a healthy lifestyle: motivate employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits by providing healthy food choices at work, on-site exercise programmes and encourage regular health screening.
  6. Provide EAP and mental health counselling: provide support, guidance and information on a wide range of work related and personal issues that can affect employees’ mental health and wellbeing.
About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives and protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, and your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity, and sustainability.

Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by over 9,000 organisations. This includes the majority of the Fortune Global 500. As well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and NGOs. Nearly 12,000 multi-cultural security, medical, logistics and digital experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,200 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days. Between them, International SOS employees speak nearly 100 languages and dialects in our Assistance Centres, Clinics, and offices.

To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: