Managing menopause in the workplace

Menopausal women are the fastest-growing group of employees in the workplace; however, many women struggle to manage the psychological and physiological changes caused by the menopause.

The Women and Equalities Committee has said a lack of support in the UK is pushing women out of work and that women going through menopause should have greater rights and protection. A taskforce has been appointed – so changes could start to emerge.

Until relatively recently, talk of the menopause in the workplace was largely taboo but it can have a huge effect on business productivity. Menopausal anxiety caused by fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones can affect some women, leaving them feeling isolated, lacking confidence and struggling to carry out tasks that were once part of daily life.

According to research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, debilitating and very personal symptoms such as hot flushes, brain fog, mood swings and increased anxiety caused almost a million women to leave their jobs, taking with them a wealth of skills and experience.

A survey by Platinum Magazine showed that 25% of pre and perimenopausal women reported frequent irritability or nervousness, while 62% of women said the symptoms of menopause interfered with their quality of life.

Employers ignore the menopause at their peril. We need to change the conversation around women’s health in order to increase inclusivity and retain skilled staff. Businesses offering support are likely to prove more attractive to experienced and skilled female talent.

Despite an increase in support for perimenopausal and menopausal women in the workplace, there is still the need for continued improvement and raised awareness of the health issues that impact the lives of many women.

Menopause Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of the menopause and its impact on the lives of women and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing takes place on 18 October 2022.

Our Inclusion and Diversity Business factsheet provides further information.

We want to hear your views on supporting menopausal women in the workplace. What are the challenges you are facing? What extra support do you require?

Emma Nicholson is diversity and inclusion ambassador for the IOD Yorkshire and North East.

Please contact [email protected] to share your views and she can put you in direct contact with Emma. You can also  join our Policy Voice team to ensure that your opinions and experiences feed into the lobbying work being done by our policy team.

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