Taking the time to support women in the workforce going through menopause…..

Often viewed as a taboo subject, menopause presents many older women with challenges as they navigate the later phase of their working lives. There are wide ranging symptoms which can be debilitating for some and difficult for female staff to discuss. Sadly, we know that one in four women experiencing menopause symptoms have considered resigning from their role and with more women in work over the age of 50 than ever before it is important to act. Yesterday marked World Menopause Day (18th October) providing employers with an opportunity to reflect on the wellbeing of their female staff.

Whilst many other life changing events including pregnancy and bereavement are recognised by employers and underpinned by legislation, it is crucial that equal consideration be given to women as they transition through menopause.

Think about the following when addressing the needs of these individuals and how best to support this indispensable cohort of your workforce.

  • Educate the entire workforce on the subject of menopause. This can help breakdown the associated stigma and change attitudes, which in turn normalises the conversation around this inevitable life change.
  • Line Managers to be understanding. By creating a “safe”, non-judgemental culture where confidentiality is respected, women of menopausal age are more likely to come forward and share the issues they face.
  • Consider individual differences. Symptoms vary so widely that every woman’s experience of menopause will be different, therefore policy and approaches should be tailored to reflect this.
  • Make reasonable adjustments to working practices. Where possible endorse flexible working patterns and if female staff are currently having to work on the company’s premises, assess the physical environment ie., office temperature, ease of access to toilet facilities and drinking water.

By introducing these simple measures and thereby supporting women of menopausal age industry can reduce the risk of losing valuable talent, and continue to contribute to the advancement of economic growth.