Why Menopause Matters to Employers
October 21, 2022
Employers have had a lot to consider in the last few years with changing workplace attitudes towards employee diversity and inclusion, mental health, and wellbeing, the latter accelerated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will not have escaped many people’s attention that the subject of menopause has been gathering momentum concerning media coverage, and government focus in relation to the impact on employees and relation to the overall health of women.
A survey earlier this year by the World Bank identified that the UK employs 15.5 million women (either in full-time or part-time roles) of which 34% are aged between 35-49 and 28% are aged 50+. These are important statistics because the average age of perimenopause for Western women is 47.5yrs and for menopause is 51yrs, with symptoms present for a significant period of perimenopause and into menopause. It is not uncommon for women to experience symptoms so severe as to impact their daily lives lasting between a few months and several years, potentially affecting their ability to carry on as normal at work. A survey has shown that 94% of respondents have experienced symptoms that negatively impacted their work.
Whilst employers have made great strides to ensure diverse and inclusive workforces, and to provide supportive measures for employees with mental health issues, this survey also showed that 60% of companies offered no menopause support by way of policies or procedures for their female employees. Trans and non-binary individuals who may also be affected, were not even acknowledged as another group for whom menopause symptoms could present difficulties. With 32% of employees contemplating leaving their jobs as a result of their menopause experience within the workplace, menopause is not yet fully seen as being an integral part of an organisation’s DEI strategy.
Gartner identified that an inclusive work environment improves team performance by up to 30% and leads to overall business improvement. As inclusion means that all employees feel involved, connected, valued, respected, and treated as equals then those employees going through the menopause transition should be able to count on the support of their employers at what can be an exceptionally challenging time.
This blog piece was written by Lisa Wright of Menopause the Right Way