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22 May 2024
by Henriette Lang

Six ways to support menopause – and keep females from quitting

The lack of awareness of menopause by businesses often leads women to leave their jobs. But it doesn’t have to be that way

Six ways to support menopause – and keep females from quitting.jpg 1


Menopause is a silent struggle for many women in the workforce. Research suggests that one in six employees leave their careers due to symptoms.

While society has started to acknowledge the physical symptoms of menopause, the mental and emotional effects remain largely ignored.

This lack of awareness can lead to untapped potential and a decline in productivity and wellbeing, contributing to a woman’s decision to quit her job.

Yet, it doesn’t need to be this way. Employers who educate themselves about the impact of menopause and who take action to create a supportive environment, not only retain workers who are often at the peak of their careers but also facilitate an inclusive workplace culture.

This, in turn, lowers absence levels, increases productivity and makes the business more attractive to future talent.

Putting menopause into focus

A 2023 Peppy Health report estimates menopause alone could cost the economy a hefty £2.9bn annually due to lost productivity and time off work.

These figures highlight the urgent need for businesses to address women’s health concerns. By creating supportive work environments, companies not only improve employee wellbeing but also bolster their bottom line.

Here are some ways this support can be provided:

1. Recognising and understanding symptoms

Physical symptoms such as hot flushes, forgetfulness and headaches can make everyday tasks frustrating and leave women feeling physical drained.

On top of these physical changes, emotional fluctuations like irritability, anxiety and even depression can add another layer of complexity.

Companies that prioritise understanding menopause and offer support to female employees will gain a significant competitive advantage.

2. Open communication is key

Businesses should foster environments where women feel comfortable discussing their experiences. Internal campaigns and webinars can initiate open conversations, and external speakers can bring valuable insights.

Updating policies to include menopause-related needs, such as flexible working arrangements to accommodate night sweats or insomnia, demonstrates a commitment to employee wellbeing.

3. Flexible working arrangements

A flexible and supportive approach is essential for maximising productivity and engagement.

Investing in resources like virtual GP services and mental health helplines empowers women to access support discreetly and conveniently.

By prioritising women’s health, businesses not only create a more positive work environment but also unlock the full potential of their female workforce.

4. Making reasonable adjustment

The law requires employers to prioritise employee health and safety.

This includes assessing risks specific to women experiencing menopause, just as with any other employee group with potential vulnerabilities.

Formal risk assessments are crucial under health and safety regulations. It’s also an equality issue.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and mandates respectful treatment based on age and gender. Menopause, a female-specific experience, can’t be a reason for negative treatment.

5. Coaching line managers

Line managers have a critical role to play in creating a supportive environment for women experiencing menopause. Just like any other health concern, these symptoms deserve empathy and understanding.

But the benefits go beyond compassion – effective management can lead to a happier, more productive team through boosted morale, reduced turnover as women feel valued during this transition, and lower absenteeism as addressing symptoms improves overall wellbeing.

6. Providing tailored support

Businesses investing in health and wellbeing providers that offer an holistic suite of solutions reassure female employees they can access the help they need, whether that’s access to mental health support, a GP appointment, or online resources.

For example, BHSF’s mental health service directs callers to a professional suited to their bespoke requirements. As menopause can cause emotional symptoms, employers offering this support service can ensure the wellbeing of all staff is looked after.

To learn more about how you can help your employees manage the menopause in the workplace, click here.

In partnership with BHSF

BHSF is a market-leading health and wellbeing provider.

Contact us today