Did you know that June is Men’s Health Month in the United States, and that this year, International Men’s Health Week is June 12-18th? These important periods aim to raise awareness about the health issues affecting men worldwide. Men face unique health challenges, some of which disproportionately affect them compared to women, ranging from Parkinson’s Disease (PD) to an increased risk of cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), men have a lower life expectancy than women in every country around the world. They also have higher rates of death from noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Prostate cancer ranks as the second most common cancer in men globally, with over 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year. Despite these statistics, men are less likely than women to seek medical care and often hesitant to discuss their health issues openly.
Men’s health issues extend beyond individual well-being; they have a significant impact on the business world as well. We can observe this impact through real-world examples of male leaders who have been affected by health issues. When Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, his health became a major concern for investors and Apple shareholders. Jobs took multiple leaves of absence from the company, and when he eventually resigned in 2011, the stock price dropped by over 5%. Similarly, when Warren Buffett announced his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012, shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway, fell by 1.5% in after-hours trading.
Considering the reality that men hold most leadership positions globally, it becomes easier to understand how ignoring men’s health issues can have significant implications for business continuity, service delivery, productivity, and profitability. In our research for this piece, we discovered The World Economic Forum’s Global Health Leadership and Gender Equality Report, which found that 70% of global health leaders are men. This gender disparity not only perpetuates gender inequality but also raises the question of why men’s health issues are not being prioritized in global health policy.
Prioritizing men’s health improves business performance!
Organizations have a responsibility to prioritize the well-being of all employees, including men’s health and wellness. By supporting men’s health and wellness, businesses can achieve significant individual and business benefits, such as reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs, as well as enhancing corporate social responsibility scores. To support men’s health, organizations can implement various strategies and initiatives, such as offering targeted educational programs on men’s health, promoting life-work balance, and reviewing current benefit offerings to ensure adequate coverage. This includes providing mental health resources and support from other qualified professionals who understand and are trained in the specific health and wellness needs of men.
In summary, men’s health is a global issue that can impact personal well-being, business continuity, and corporate performance. It deserves greater attention from individuals and businesses alike. By prioritizing men’s health and implementing strategies and initiatives to support it, businesses can improve employee well-being, productivity, and profitability while fulfilling their social responsibility. As we observe Men’s Health Month and International Men’s Health Week, let us all commit to raising awareness and addressing these issues, particularly in the workplace.
At Chapter tOO, we’re dedicated to helping inclusion-minded leaders foster healthier workplaces. Connect with us today to learn how we can help you develop inclusion-anchored business and talent development strategies that prioritize wellness and lead to the desired business outcomes you seek!