Talent Canada
Talent Canada

In Her Shoes: Conversations on Women’s Health in the Workplace

Talent Canada, in partnership with Sun Life, hosted a special roundtable discussion that explored women’s health in the workplace.

The panel discussion, moderated by senior editor Todd Humber, features Carmen Klein of Cadillac Fairview; Tiana Field-Ridley of the Mental Health Commission of Canada; Krista Hogan of Sun Life; Janet Ko of the Menopause Foundation of Canada; and Stuart Rudner of Rudner Law. (This is an ongoing series. Content updated regularly in October 2023.)

Uncovering the gender gap: Women’s health issues take center stage

Discussions around women’s health are continuing to gain momentum in the media, a spotlight and focus that is both warranted and long overdue.

That was the consensus from a special panel discussion, held by Talent Canada in partnership with Sun Life, that took an in-depth look at women’s health issues in the workplace. Read the full story.

Menopause, cardiovascular disease, mental health among top concerns for working women

Janet Ko, president and co-founder of the Menopause Foundation of Canada, argued that women in menopause are a “very fast-growing segment of the workforce” that warrant greater understanding and recognition.

“Just think about the number of women in our country over the age of 40,” she said. “That’s 10 million women. We represent one-quarter of the population, and we represent one-quarter of the workforce.” Read the full story.

Barriers, stigma and lack of support: Panel explores issues facing women in accessing health care

Krista Hogan, director, product solutions and group benefits at Sun Life, rhymed off a long list of the issues women face in accessing care.

“That includes stigma, lack of medical representation in research, and then bias when it comes to diagnosis and treatment,” she said.

She elaborated on the various ways stigma impacts women, stating that the discomfort surrounding topics such as “contraception, menstruation, menopause” reduces funding for research and keeps women from seeking help. Read the full story.

Breaking the silence: Addressing the impact of menopause in the workplace

As the dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion grows in workplaces across the country, a crucial yet often overlooked topic is emerging: menopause.

It’s a stage of life that impacts millions of working women, yet it remains shrouded in silence and stigma. Panelists at a recent discussion, held by Talent Canada in partnership with Sun Life, revealed interesting findings and raised pressing questions about how workplaces can better support women navigating this significant life transition.

“Menopause is still something that is swept under the rug,” said Janet Ko, president and co-founder of the Menopause Foundation of Canada. “We know that one in 10 women will leave their job because of menopausal symptoms that are not managed.” Read the full story.

Maternal and reproductive health in the workplace: A call for holistic support from employers

Amid growing discussions about the need for more inclusive and supportive workplaces, experts and advocates shed light on the unique challenges and needs related to maternal and reproductive health at a recent panel discussion.

The focus of the discussion, held by Talent Canada in partnership with Sun Life, was on the full spectrum of women’s reproductive journey — from fertility to pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond — and how employers can better support their employees.

“Reproductive age really stretches from puberty right to pre-menopause. During this stage, there are unique physiological challenges that often revolve around menstruation, related disorders, uterine or ovarian diseases, and infertility,” said Krista Hogan, director, product solutions and group benefits at Sun Life. Read the full story.

Male-dominated industries grapple with unique challenges in women’s health

Carmen Klein, vice-president of HR and change management at Cadillac Fairview, started her career in engineering and operations management. She expressed how such industries often fall short in addressing the needs of female employees.

“There’s a tendency, when it’s a male-dominated industry, to want to design solutions and things to meet the average and not consider the experiences for the employees who are on the fringes,” Klein said.

She pointed out her own experience of having to wear gloves “five sizes too big” while working on the factory floor, emphasizing the importance of designing workplace solutions that meet the diverse needs of all employees. Klein added that inclusive design extends beyond personal protective equipment to benefits, workplace policies, and even “change room design” and “washrooms.” Read the full story.