General Business

Organon Declares Paid Time Off for Employees on International Women’s Day

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on women, Organon issues a call to action for other leaders to create opportunities to focus on women’s health

Organon, the Jersey City-based global women’s health company, is designating International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 as a day to recognize the growing health disparities women face that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its inception, IWD has focused on accelerating gender parity. Organon recognizes the need for a global effort to address women’s health and is starting with its own employees by providing paid time off this year for all employees to attend to their own health needs. The company invites organizations across the globe to join in raising awareness of the inequity in women’s health and to adopt initiatives that help women prioritize their health.

Women have worked hard to advance in the workplace, but the pandemic is unraveling these hard-fought gains. Women are now significantly more burned out than ever, even more than men—which can take a huge toll on their physical and mental health. Even before the pandemic, in a 2015 survey, 78% of women said they usually put their own healthcare needs, such as scheduling doctor’s appointments, aside to focus on taking care of their family and other priorities.

“Organon launched with a commitment to listen to the needs of women and as part of our research, we learned that women are finding it harder than ever to make the time to care for even their most basic health needs,” said Kevin Ali, chief executive officer, Organon. “As a company investing in innovation to improve women’s health, I felt a responsibility to help address this within our own global community of almost 9,500 employees. This year, the symbolic action we are taking is to encourage all our people to spend this day off to make a commitment to their own health or the health of the women in their lives, whether that’s going to the doctor, taking stock of their own wellbeing or reflecting on how to make a change.”

We believe healthy women are the backbone of a thriving, stable and resilient society and when she is healthy, she prospers and so does her community and her society, for generations to come. Yet, a recent study found that 44% of older women said they waited until a health symptom became urgent before scheduling an appointment – and that number jumps to 62% for women aged 20-34.3 This is what Organon is hoping to change and asks others to join in the effort to improve women’s health.

“Empowering women to put themselves at the top of the list has always been a priority for HealthyWomen and is an important part of our mission to educate women on the importance of making informed decisions about their health,” said Beth Battaglino, chief executive officer, HealthyWomen. “As the pandemic continues to limit women’s ability for self-care, we are proud of Organon for joining the movement and call on other companies to recognize International Women’s Day as a day to honor women’s unmet health needs.”

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