5 Ways Naomi Osaka’s Decision to Protect Her Mental Health is a Win for Women in the Workplace Everywhere.

  1. She showed us how to set boundaries when you’re the best. She not only set a boundary for her personal well-being, but she created an official stopping point for how much pressure exceptional women should be expected to endure in their workplace after they’ve spoken up. She showed us that the “Best” know the best way to care for their bodies.
  2. She started a conversation about how “besting” each other in the workplace doesn’t always lead to personal success. Although the institution you work for may thrive through your decision to press forward, they aren’t the ones who have to deal with the long-term effect of stress on your overall health.
  3. She proved that women are susceptible to drop opportunities or drop from the workforce if they don’t feel supported. In the last year, we’ve seen report after report about women being forced out of the workplace due to lack of support, and poor public policies that do not allow them to prioritize their careers. While Naomi is not a mother, her story is still one that suggests that being the highest-paid women’s athlete in the world or not, you’re still susceptible to leave opportunities that don’t support every facet of your life.
  4. She challenged outdated “repercussions and fines” as they relate to a woman’s health. Her move has sparked a conversation around if there should be clearer guidelines around how these things can be imposed if violations are health-related.
  5. She shifted the conversation around what it means to be strong. A generation or two before Osaka’s entrance into the world stage, we cheered for the person who was able to constantly push themselves to extremes. But now, employers and organizations around the world are receiving a wake-up call around the shifting face of strength. Gone are the days when physical strength was the only indicator of long-term success. Mental and emotional health has officially entered the conversation.

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Adonica Shaw

Adonica Shaw

Adonica Shaw is the founder of the social media network Wingwomen.