A recent report by Circle In — Driving the Change: Menopause and the Workplace — found that 83% of respondents said their professional work was negatively affected by menopause.
Nearly half of respondents said that had considered retiring or taking a break from work when their menopausal symptoms were most severe. Meanwhile, 60% of respondents ranked workplace support during menopause as “poor” or “below average.”
Menopause will impact all women and many trans-men, typically between the ages of 45 to 54. Menopausal women make up 11% of all people in employment and 23% of all women in employment. While symptoms vary dramatically between different women, they can include: sleep issues, memory issues, hot flushes, headaches, muscle aches, joint pains, increased anxiety, and mood swings.
In her Ted Talk The link between menopause and gender inequity at work, Andrea Berchowitz points out the link between the small number of women in senior positions and the lack of menopause support currently offered by institutions.
“The women at the top were exceptional. The bar seemed almost too high to reach. And so I started speaking to my friends and colleagues in their 40s and 50s. They talked about things I knew: balancing a serious job, teenagers and caring for elderly parents. But in a few instances, close friends opened up. They talked about how their bodies and their minds were changing and the impact of menopause on many aspects of their lives, including work,” Andrea says.
“I believe the workplace can play a major role in improving the experience for women coping with menopausal symptoms. And it might sound cliché, but it does start with awareness. And then it means changing the physical setup of our offices, resetting expectations around work culture and updating health care policies.”
You can learn more about the menopause and its challenges for the workplace here: Miss Menopause | Menopause Awareness Training