Company furloughs all employees on International Women’s Day

We’ve seen a range of ways that employers aim to approach International Women’s Day over the years, from holding luncheons and roundtables to even putting women in all front-line positions and audiences for the day, as the ABC once did across all of its platforms.

Generally, what happens is that these initiatives create more work for women.

It is women who organize the roundtables and events as organizations strive to show that they are thinking about IWD.

These are the women who come forward to recognize the meaning of the day and begin to get involved in the work that needs to be done.

It’s women who have these conversations, “how can we involve more men?” And again the women who make up the vast majority of the public and participants in all types of IWD activities.

This is why this approach by Organon for International Women’s Day particularly stood out.

They give staff a day off, in the form of paid leave. Not just female staff, but all staff.

They don’t do it to give women a “break”. A paid day off will not solve the years of exhaustion that so many have experienced as a result of the pandemic.

Rather, they do so as a call to action for their own staff to prioritize their health and well-being. Thinking about what they can do to lead a healthier life, taking the time to schedule those appointments, including any screenings that may have been missed, and thinking about the health of other women in their lives.

Organon is a women-focused pharmaceutical company that launched in 2021. It has 9,500 employees globally, including in Australia where chief executive Nirelle Tolstoshev leads the company.

Although still less than a year old, he has already been pushed and received great media attention for a range of support measures for his staff, including giving staff three hours a day during lockdowns to manage things like distance learning for kids.

He says his public push to give his staff on March 8 paid leave – and encourage other employers to follow their example – is done to recognize the growing inequality in women’s health, given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women taking on additional family responsibilities and other burdens, and in many cases sacrificing their own health needs in the process.

In its statement announcing the paid leave, Organon noted the hard-won gains for women in the workplace that have collapsed due to the pandemic, as well as the rising rates of burnout and stress experienced by women who have an impact on physical and mental health.

Organon cited statistics noting that women are making appointments despite symptoms, with 44% of older women waiting until a health symptom becomes urgent before making an appointment and the number jumps to 62% among those aged 20 to 34. years support.

Locally, Organon noted recently published ANROWS research that outlined the cost of the pandemic to Australian women, including statistics that 31% of 10,000 women surveyed had been made redundant, lost their jobs or had to accept a job cut. pay or reduced hours during the first 12 months of the pandemic.

“As a company investing in innovation to improve women’s health, I felt a responsibility to help solve this problem within our global community of nearly 9,500 employees,” said CEO Kevin Ali during the announcement.

He said the token action of offering paid time off is done to encourage all staff to spend the day committing to their own health or the health of the women in their lives, “whether it’s going to the doctor , take stock of their own well-being , or think about how to make a change.

“Organon was launched with a commitment to listen to the needs of women and through our research we have learned that women are finding it harder than ever to take the time to attend to their health needs. more basic.”

Tolstoshev said healthy women are the backbone of a prosperous, stable and resilient society. “When she is healthy, she thrives, and so does her community, her society for generations to come,” she said.

“Empowering women to put their health needs at the top of the priority list is part of the change we need to drive to increase gender equity in all aspects of their lives. Especially as the pandemic continues to limit women’s ability to care for themselves, we are proud to show our commitment to addressing women’s unmet health needs now and in the future.

Comments are closed.