Despite many strides in achieving women’s equity, a gender health gap still exists. A long history of inadequate recognition and support of women’s health is still impacting women today – including in the workplace.

Our new Bright Paper report helps raise awareness of women’s health and highlights important opportunities employers have to better support women in their workplaces.

Focusing on women’s health


Often, there’s a stigma around women’s health issues. People can feel uncomfortable talking about things like menstruation and menopause. But it’s not just reproductive health –the gender health gap extends to virtually all aspects of women’s health. This includes heart health, mental health and more.

The problem is that if we don’t talk about these things, they will continue to go unsupported. That’s why we’re raising awareness of women’s health needs and the opportunities to better support women in the workplace. One-third of women (33%) said their group benefits plan didn’t provide enough coverage to meet their needs.1

This is especially alarming because women make up over 48% of the workforce, yet their needs aren’t being met and are often ignored.2

3 out of 4 women
experience menopausal
symptoms that interfere with
their daily lives.

It has been estimated that 10% of
women will stop working because their symptoms are debilitating, often
at the peak of their careers.3

Heart health. 50% of women
who experience heart attacks
have their symptoms go unrecognized.

They are also less likely than men to receive the timely treatments and medications they need.

Over 40% of women’s
long-term disability claims are
for mental disorders, compared
to 30% of men’s.

Women are more likely to experience barriers to accessing mental health
care, including transportation, childcare and cost.

There are many ways you can help support the health of the women in your workplace. 

Here are a few steps to get started:


Raise awareness and reduce
the stigma associated with
many women’s health issues

This can include things like establishing peer support groups for those experiencing menopause and promoting events such as Women’s Health Week with communications from senior leaders.


Review our
Workplace Benefits
DE&I Playbook.

It outlines many specific health
needs of women and resources
available through group plans that can support them.  


Consider the benefits of
Mental Health Coach,
provided by CloudMD. 

It can help at-risk plan members –
and reduce the impact of mental
health-related absences and
disability claims.

Taking action

Download our new Bright Paper report, Working together to support women’s health, to learn more about the actions you can take to increase awareness of women’s health and better support the women in your workplace. Actions like these will help you attract and retain talent and maximize the potential of the women in your organization.

Here’s key findings on women’s health issues.
It raises awareness of the gender health gap
and its effect on the health and quality of life
of women in the workforce.  Download the
Women’s Health infographic


1 National survey of 2,313 working Canadians, age 18-65, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Sun Life, February 2022

2 Statistics Canada, Labour Force characteristics, 2022

3 Brand, A. 10% of women leave the workforce due to menopause. HRreview. UK.

4 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, “System failure: Healthcare inequities continue to leave women’s heart and brain health behind,” 2023

5 Sun Life data, Q1&Q2, 2022

6 Women’s Health Collective Canada, Women’s Health Collective is addressing the gap in women’s health, June 2021

This report is primarily focused on the health of people who identify as women and have a uterus. This includes people who experience physical and hormonal
changes associated with biological female reproduction throughout their lifetime. However, some or all of this paper could apply to non-binary, transgender or
two-spirited people who have a uterus.

This report provides you with general information only. It doesn’t provide you with employment, legal, health, or financial advice. Consult with the appropriate professional advisor to meet your organization’s needs.