Women in the workforce have been a controversial topic for centuries now. First, it was the debate of whether or not women should be allowed to participate in the workforce at all and after women did join the workforce, there has been controversy about equal pay and workplace harassment.
One topic that is often left out of these discussions, however, is the wellness gap that exists between men and women, particularly in the workplace. It is this gap that drives Bellabeat, a San Francisco-based wellness company that is taking on women’s wellness in the workplace with a new program.
Bellabeat’s Wellness Philosophy
Globally, women make up a bulk of the caregivers but fall behind when it comes to receiving care themselves, and correcting this is Bellabeat’s mission statement. The company operates by ethically sourcing data on customers and developing wellness plans based on this data. They are known for using menstrual cycle data to develop custom wellness plans and have facilitated millions of workouts thus far.
Now, they are taking this mission into the workplace with a new corporate wellness program that has already seen interest from Microsoft, LG, and Coca Cola. Considering that women now make up the majority of the workforce in the United States, it makes sense that their wellness is expanded into the workplace as well.
This is also beneficial for the corporations that hire them. Annually, companies lose $500 billion to employee disengagement and proper wellness would curb this problem. This is because poor wellness is one of the biggest causes of employee disengagement; poor sleep, poor diet, stress, dehydration, and so on. Ultimately, companies like Microsoft are opting for Beallabeat’s program because it helps their employees not only become healthier but become more productive as well.
Bellabeat aims to do this by collecting data about customers’ lifestyle habits; their sleep cycles, diet, and stress levels. After this is collected, lifestyle changes can be recommended and reports are drawn up to show progress for the duration of the program. Bellabeat already has wearable jewelry pieces like the Urban Leaf that track metrics in real-time, saving customers the trouble of having to self-report everything.
The Urban Leaf even uses AI to predict the user’s potential response to stress based on their previous habits for each day. These sorts of programs are valuable because they have practical use in everyday life. It isn’t just a report on sleep schedules, for example, but a report stating whether the user’s productivity will rise or fall based on their habits and when changes need to be made.
The privacy question
For consumers who are worried about how their data is used, especially in light of the news that a popular period tracker was selling user data, Bellabeat offers complete transparency.
Interestingly, Bellabeat has found that there is a shift in corporations’ interest in their employees’ data as those spoken to are more concerned about an increase in productivity and do not want to track employees’ data.
According to Melanie Messina, Head of Product, “By working with larger forward-thinking companies, we found out employers don’t want to track their employees, they simply want them to be happier and more productive – therefore we created a dashboard exclusively for employees to view and share their wellness between colleagues.”
The users themselves have access to a more detailed report and can decide how much of their data to share. Additionally, no two users will receive the same wellness plan. This is because Bellabeat creates customized plans based on existing user data and habits. The wellness plan might prioritize better eating habits in one user and better sleep in another.
This has been their business model from the start and this will be carried over into the corporate plan. While it will be obviously more complex to launch such an initiative for hundreds or thousands of employees at once, Bellabeat has been in existence since 2013 and has the track record to back up its claims.
The Shift in Women’s Wellness
Around the world, people have been taking their health more seriously, even before the current pandemic. Plant-based meats are more popular than ever before, there is more attention being paid to at-home workouts and the pandemic has made many of us more health-conscious than ever.
Women have been found to be underserved in the wellness industry and the new health revolution cannot leave them behind, especially in the workforce. Bellabeat is taking on an ambitious challenge by providing wellness resources on such a large scale but what they are doing is very needed.
With time, we can expect to see fortune 500 companies and multinationals embrace workplace wellness as the norm thanks to the path being paved by Bellabeat. The end result of this will be a more productive and healthier workforce.