Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd.

March 8, 2022

~Otsuka Pharmaceutical Survey of "Working Women's Health Consciousness"~
Indication that women’s health concerns (PMS, menopause) significantly affect career paths.
Need for recognition as "corporate issues" beyond individual efforts.

The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) Woman Healthcare Project has implemented a Japan nationwide "working women's health consciousness*1" survey of women, 20 to 59 years of age.

The Japanese Government has set a goal for women to occupy more than 30% of leadership positions by 2030 or earlier. Despite high hopes for women's contributions to the business environment, women face specific health-related issues attributable to hormonal fluctuations that can hinder their performance, such as PMS*2 and symptoms associated with menopause*3. Intended to clarify the effects of such health concerns on working women's lives, the in-depth survey brought the following issues to light.

  1. *1

    Otsuka Pharmaceutical Survey of Women's Health and Its Impact on Work; September 2021

    • Screening survey: 20,000 women; responses collected to reflect population composition (Breakdown: age 20-44, 12,132 women; age 45-59, 7,868 women)

    • Main survey|

    Survey 1: Full-time female corporate and government employees aged 20-44, 1,600 women

    Survey 2: Full-time female corporate and government employees aged 45-59, 800 women

    Survey 3: Full-time female corporate and government employees with opportunity for promotion to managerial positions aged 20-44, 1,001 women

    Survey 4: Full-time female corporate and government employees with opportunity for promotion to managerial positions aged 45-59, 817 women

    (For this survey, weighted scores were used to calculate relative significance of age, subjective awareness and severity of symptoms)

  2. *2PMS: Premenstrual syndrome. A combination of physical and emotional symptoms that may affect women 3 to 10 days before their period; symptoms commonly dissipate with onset of menstruation.
  3. *3Physical and emotional signs and symptoms caused by sudden declines in reproductive hormones.

Results of Survey of Working Women's Health Consciousness (Extracts)

1. Approximately half of working women have experienced symptoms of PMS and/or menopause, but many women seek relief on their own.

Approximately 50% of respondents had experienced symptoms of PMS or menopause. The survey revealed that many women end up worrying about these symptoms alone because they "hesitate to speak with others" about their discomfort or "don't want to be a burden on the workplace."

2. Women's specific health concerns (symptoms of PMS/menopause) affect promotions and resignations.

Symptoms can affect on-the-job performance, in some cases extending to refusal of promotion and resignation. Survey results revealed that more than 50% of respondents who cited PMS symptoms had hesitated or refused workplace promotions, while 40% experiencing menopausal symptoms indicated the same. The tendency was even more pronounced among women with opportunities for promotion to leadership positions, indicating that women's health issues can have a serious impact on career formation. The survey also revealed a significant number of cases in which women considered resignation.

3. Call for corporate support for women's health issues

While many women feel that they must address PMS and menopausal health concerns on their own, the movement for women's increased participation in society has led to a growing consensus that companies should develop initiatives to address such concerns. To paraphrase, there is a growing need for corporations to understand and recognize women's health concerns in the interest of fostering more inclusive work environments.

NOTE: Detailed survey results are available on the "Woman Healthcare Project" section of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical website. (Japanese language)

Proposal for Promotion of Women's Healthcare: "New Self-care"

The recent survey revealed that PMS and menopausal symptoms and other women's health concerns are factors that can limit women's contributions in the workplace and in society at large.

Symptoms of PMS and menopause are related to female reproductive hormones (estrogen).
In addition to accurate knowledge and general self-care, it is important to consult with medical professionals, have regular check-ups, and be fully aware of one's own condition to effectively cope with these symptoms and their effects.

Otsuka proposes these combined measures as "New Self-care."
As revealed by the recent survey, addressing the health concerns that hinder women's participation in society should not be the responsibility of individuals alone, but should be considered as "corporate issues" requiring a unified approach to improvement of workplace policies and environments.

To support these women's healthcare proposals, Otsuka organizes corporate seminars focusing on women's health issues and promotes health-related literacy by disseminating information via various websites.

Into the future, Otsuka will continue to support creation of environments in which women are able to realize their full potential.

■ Otsuka Pharmaceutical operates several websites providing health-related information for women in various life stages (Japanese language)