There is so much going on for businesses at present – financial struggles, supporting a workforce that is spread about, needing to be mindful of the mental health of staff during these times. So why on earth – on top of all that – should a business need to consider menopause? Surely, it’s not that big a deal?
Well, the answer is, it absolutely can be. We need to face the facts:
- Menopause will affect everyone at some point – half the population directly (women), half indirectly (male partners, friends, managers, colleagues)
- Menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the workforce. A study from Nottingham University showed that around 75%-80%of women of menopausal age are in work, which means there are over 3.5 million women of menopausal age in the UK workforce
- Research commissioned in 2019 showed 14 million working days are lost each year through menopause related absences
- Menopause, is, of course, individual. Some women will go through the menopause with no problems at all, and we have had businesses say that menopause is not an issue for them. However, statistics show that 3 out of every 4 women will have symptoms, and for 1 out of those 3 the symptoms will be severe and debilitating.
So rather than it being the case that menopause is not an issue, it is probably more the case that a business is not aware of the issue. Many female employees choose not to share that they are in the menopause, even with their direct line managers. There can be many reasons for this, ranging from embarrassment and fear of being stereotyped, to concern that their situation will be linked to performance, right through to fear that it might affect promotion opportunities etc.
In a survey of 1,000 women aged 45 or over carried out in 2019, 63% said the symptoms of menopause had impacted their work. In the same survey, 90% said their workplace offered no support.
So, could it be more of a deal than you think?
It is true it is yet another thing for businesses to think about, but we feel menopause should be firmly in the wellbeing agenda – more so, rather than less so, in these anxious, difficult times we are living through.
Support for menopausal women in the workforce, as well as being standard good management practice, also makes good economic sense. Support can reduce sick leave, improve performance and motivation, increase engagement and increase retention of staff who may look to leave their jobs if symptoms become difficult to manage. Which of course leads in turn to loss of skills and experience and the additional cost of recruitment.
There are many things businesses can do to support female staff going through the menopause, and most of the things are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement, being much more about awareness than physical cost.
So, if you feel menopause is a deal for your business, can you afford not to become menopause friendly?
Do please get in touch if you feel Menopause and Me! can help