How Employers can support women through menopause

The average age for woman to start experiencing menopause symptoms is around 40-50 however for many  this can be earlier or later. Women report experiencing symptoms such as, struggling to concentrate and remember certain aspects, feeling less patient, more stressed day-to-day as well as physical symptoms like hot flushes, joint pain, skin sensitivity and not being able to carry out physical activity with ease.

Going through this natural stage in life can be difficult and can often be made to feel more difficult as a working woman.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 67% of working women between 40-60 years old and suffering from menopause symptoms have a mostly negative experience at work. Over half could think of a time when they could not go to work due to struggling too much.

The Fawcett Society survey found that 1 in 10 women who were employed during their menopause left the workplace due to their symptoms.

Menopause is a large contributor into women leaving the workplace earlier than they should and leaving roles they perhaps would still want to keep. Often workplaces are not equipped or set up to support women due to a lack of understanding of the term and how women can suffer from the symptoms.

 

 

What can employers do for women?

Under the Equality act from 2010 workers are protected from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of disability, sex and age. There is a legal obligation to protect women from experiencing any discrimination against her during the menopause. If a working woman is suffering and this is impacting her ability to work as well as perform day-to-day tasks then this could be categorised as a disability.

Employers are under a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments just as they would create accessible entrances to an office for those in a wheelchair e.g. installing a ramp system.

 

To create an easier way for women to stay at work and maintain their positions through menopause employers could make some changes.

  • Create cooler working environments
  • Relaxed working uniforms to allow a more comfortable work day
  • The option for flexible working to manage when women can’t come in due to symptoms
  • Create a safe space for women to bring up their symptoms and discuss their options
  • Encourage understanding in the workplace for how menopause can effect women daily

 

The benefits for the business

When employers not only listen and understand the concerns of women through menopause they can make necessary adjustments and witness the benefits for their company and workplace.

  • Reduce staff turnover as women won’t need to leave their roles
  • Experienced women can remain in their valuable roles
  • Reduced absenteeism, if the workplace is better equipped more women would be able to work through menopause
  • Avoid the risk of a discrimination claim

 

Supporting women through menopause rather than allowing it to impact their work life to the point of leaving opens up better opportunities and equal chances.

Comments are closed.