In February 2022, support for individuals who suffer from endometriosis was discussed and debated in the House of Commons.
Statistics were given as part of the debate, namely that it would take 20 days, at 24 hours a day, to name every woman in this country who suffers from endometriosis. It can take eight years on average to get a diagnosis and there is undivided opinions on the surgery required.
The key point of the discussion was that endometriosis affects so many women yet is still unrecognised or even stigmatised within the workplace.
Paul Scully, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed that the governments strategy on women's health was to be published during 2022. This strategy is set to focus on workplace health as one of its six priority areas and will include a chapter on 'menstrual health and gynaecological conditions'. The chapter will include ways to improve awareness, care and treatment of those suffering from endometriosis and other similar conditions.
There has been a lot of noise and commentary over the last 12 months in respect of menopause in the workplace so it is not a surprise that other female and/or gynaecological conditions are now also getting some of the limelight.
There is certainly work to be done in this area by employers in terms of de-stigmatising such conditions within the workplace and ensuring employees know that their employers are there to support them where they need it. Conditions such as endometriosis should be treated the same way as menopause in the work place and employers should consider whether any reasonable adjustments need to be made etc.
As the debate highlighted, there are good employers out there that already support their workforce in respect of these conditions. But there are also employers out there who currently do not.
The government's strategy on women's health is welcomed but it remains to be seen the speed at which organisations implement the recommendations contained within it.
Today I seek to talk about women’s suffering in the workplace, which mainly comes about through a complete lack of knowledge about this disease.