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Woman executives: the new high-risk demographic?

Woman executives: the new high-risk demographic?

As a leader in business, you face challenges on all fronts, from boardroom negotiations to balancing multiple demands at home. It’s easy enough for your own needs to slip to the bottom of your list, but by prioritising your health, you’ll be better equipped to deliver in all areas of your life.

Generally speaking, women are more likely than men to put the needs of others before their own. This, combined with economic inequalities that prevent women from accessing healthcare in a timely manner, has a negative effect on women's health generally. Even women who are not economically excluded – that is, those in well-paying executive positions – may find themselves putting their health last as their workload increases alongside life’s other demands.

But just because this is the status quo, doesn’t mean things need to continue this way. Prioritising your own needs, specifically in terms of healthcare, is better for you, for your business and for your family and community. And it might just make you happier…

What the experts say about women’s health

  • According to the US Office on Women’s Health, women are twice as likely to experience anxiety as men are.
  • Women are at higher risk of dying from heart disease than men are. This is because heart disease is under-recognised and under-treated among women compared to men.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases tend to affect women more than men, can lead to infertility and are often misdiagnosed.

Why we need to put on our own oxygen masks first

You know the drill on the aeroplane: in case of emergency, you have to make sure your own oxygen mask is in place before assisting others. That’s because you can be no use to anyone if you run out of air. The same applies to your physical and mental health needs. The consequences of ignoring this metaphorical oxygen mask may not be as immediate as on a plane but, over time, continually leaving your needs till last will have disastrous effects on your health.

Time to break social conditioning?

Empirical research shows that women smile more than men and tend to exaggerate expressions of positive emotions. This is a manifestation of the people-pleasing, ‘good girl’ persona that young girls are typically socialised into – layering their own thoughts and feelings below those they think would be most desirable to the people around them. It’s not easy to break a lifetime of social conditioning, but it is possible, and executive women are perhaps the best equipped to turn the tables.

Self-care isn’t selfish

There’s no need to feel guilty about putting yourself first – and if you do, take comfort in the fact that by doing so you’re likely to be even more useful to those around you. Not attending to your own well-being keeps you in a cycle of physical and emotional stress, which can lead to burnout and serious illness. You matter, and so does your health.

We can help

Our executive medical services are designed to help you direct your efforts to put your health first, so you can thrive in every aspect of your life. Our Executive Wellness Clinic in Johannesburg offers confidential and friendly medical services to executives and senior leadership, as well as their spouses. It’s a holistic healthcare intervention, staffed by doctors, nurses, dietitians, pathologists and biokineticists, among other specialists. That means you can have all your physical and mental healthcare needs seen to in one place – perfect for the busy working woman. 

Here’s a glimpse into what you can look forward to:

To learn more about how Life Health Solutions can support and elevate your business, email or call (+27) 86 123 4123 to speak to one of our business development managers.

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