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30 Jan 2024

4 reasons why businesses should offer menopause support

Organisations can benefit from increased engagement, loyalty, and improved talent retention

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Women over 50 are the fastest growing demographic in the UK workforce. However, one in 10 have left a job as a result of feeling unwell due to the menopause and almost half feel they couldn’t tell their workplace they had to take a day off because of it.

Businesses that don’t understand symptoms of the menopause or provide support are at risk of losing their top talent who will generally be at the peak of their experience and knowledge.

By recognising the role that line managers can play in supporting the menopause and normalising conversations, organisations can benefit from increased engagement, loyalty and improved talent retention.

Understanding menopause

The menopause occurs when a person’s oestrogen levels fall and they stop having periods. It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but can be earlier. It can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including hot flushes, mood swings and anxiety.

In the workplace, these symptoms can present hurdles, such as:

  • Decreased concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Reduced mood
  • Diminished confidence

Menopause support initiatives in the workplace can address these challenges and promote a more diverse and inclusive work environment.

Making the workplace more inclusive

Although menopause is common, many people suffer in silence and can even experience discrimination in the workplace due to a lack of awareness. This results in employees being hesitant to openly discuss menopause-related challenges at work.

Through menopause support, businesses can break down these barriers and show commitment to fostering inclusivity and promoting gender equality. In doing so, they create an environment in which employees who are undergoing menopause feel comfortable in sharing their experiences and seeking help.

Enhanced employee wellbeing

Menopause symptoms at work can reduce job satisfaction and set back employee engagement: 61% of women who have experienced menopausal symptoms at work said they had lost motivation and 52% had lost confidence. Recent research by the NHS revealed that 10% of women leave their jobs due to menopausal symptoms.

Businesses need to nurture a culture of openness and normalise discussions about menopause. By openly providing workplace menopause support, building support networks and training line management to confidently have these conversations, employees will feel empowered to speak openly with managers about their symptoms.

Increased employee productivity

Several studies have shown how menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, fatigue and cognitive changes, can interrupt an employee’s work performance and hit their confidence. Menopause support addresses these symptoms. For instance, providing temperature control options in the office can create a more comfortable workspace for those experiencing hot flushes. Equipping employees with the support to navigate menopause-related challenges, means they can remain engaged at work and sustain their productivity.

Building a positive employer brand

Businesses need to consider their employer brand. When employees feel supported, they naturally evolve into brand advocates. This advocacy serves to enhance a company’s reputation and as an attractive place to work for those who appreciate socially responsible businesses.

Menopause is an individual experience that affects people in different ways. Focus on supporting employees through this time in life is not only a compassionate business decision, but also a strategic move toward long-term success in a diverse and inclusive workplace.

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