A TAUNTON-based health insurer has produced a policy to support women in the workplace.

WPA LifeStage Health: Women’s Health helps larger companies raise awareness, look after and support women's distinct needs throughout life’s natural stages.

It enables employers to facilitate access to expert healthcare for women throughout those events.

It aims to give personalised insights to increase wellbeing and help prevent avoidable conditions, while recognising that for some different life stages can lead to physical and mental challenges impacting their wellbeing, families and careers.

WPA says:

  • 63 per cent of women said their working life had been negatively affected by menstrual symptoms;
  • one in 10 have endometriosis, four in 10 of whom fear losing their job and over a third of whom say they earn less as a result;
  • around eight in 10 menopausal women are in work, three out of four experience symptoms and one in four could have serious symptoms leading them to consider leaving work.

Sharon Shier, WPA head of product development, said: “We wanted to design a solution to help raise awareness and break taboos around women’s health, not just around the menopause but across the distinct journey of being a woman.

"WPA LifeStage Health recognises the challenges that occur naturally throughout women’s lives including periods, contraception, fertility, pregnancy, as well as the peri and post menopause phases.

"LifeStage Health has been designed with flexibility in mind, allowing companies to supplement existing healthcare benefits or as a standalone benefit for those not currently within the company scheme.

"By offering it to staff (and their families), companies are likely to improve retention and recruitment while supplementing their diversity and inclusion strategy."

Debra Clark, of Towergate Health and Protection, said “It’s great to see a health insurer recognising the broader challenges faced by employers and the female workforce.

"LifeStage Health is an innovative solution that helps companies and working women thrive and I’m looking forward to working with WPA and sharing it with my network”.

Lauren Chiren, Women of a Certain Stage chief executive, said: "Helping companies attract and retain women of all ages, increase attendance, engagement and productivity as well as ensure women feel supported and psychologically safe to ask for the help and support they need, without fear of stigma, or being seen as weak or vulnerable."