Working Women Put Others’ Health First

Protect Your Bones

By Monique da Silva

At a time when women comprise nearly half of the workforce, women are the majority at universities and increasingly out-earning their husbands, they still take a back-seat to men when it comes to health.

New data suggest that more than one-third of employed women use most of their sick days for someone else and nearly one-quarter of all employed women feel they are at a disadvantage in the workplace because they are typically the one who uses sick days when a family member becomes ill. This is especially true for moms with kids.

The research also found that seven in 10 women put other family member’s health ahead of their own and when money is tight, one in four women pay for others’ drug prescriptions instead of their own. In fact, nearly half of women in America believe society values men’s health more than women’s health.

At a time when our country is looking to improve its overall health, we may want to start by improving the health of its Chief Medical Officer – women – and reevaluate the resources that are available to support working women, especially working moms.

Women are more likely than men to be obese, putting them at high risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems.* The Los Angeles Times reported this summer that women in some parts of the U.S. are dying younger than they were a generation ago, reversing nearly a century of progress in public health and underscoring the rising toll of smoking and record obesity.**

As the guardian of her family’s overall health, as well as increasingly the guardian of her family’s overall economic status, improving and maintaining women’s health benefits is also good for the women, business and the economy.

Monique da Silva is executive vice president and head of North America Healthcare at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. She works with Ogilvy PR’s healthcare clients to develop strategic and innovative communications programs that target a variety of audiences, including women.

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