Unfortunately, recent surveys by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) have shown that one in ten menopausal women have quit their jobs due to the debilitating symptoms of the menopause as seen on TV today (02/05/2022).
Many, many others, thousands to be more precise also slashed working hours and avoided promotions, I myself also having experienced the same in a very male dominant industry.
The survey showed 333.000 menopausal women actually left their jobs, 1 in 10, also 14%, nearly half a million cut their hours, whilst 8% did not go for that deserved promotion? For those brave enough and strong enough to persevere it has also been revealed that those women are most likely to have taken an average of 32 weeks leave to help with managing the symptoms over time.
So basically, experienced, middle-aged women are leaving the work force in droves. Women who are most likely to be at the top of their careers, but without the right support, at the right time, are unable to reach their full potential in business to reap the benefits from.
Menopause tends to occur between the ages of 45 to 55, the average age being 51. However, the NHS do say that around 1 in 100 women start to experience the menopause before they are 40! Symptoms of which can be extremely debilitating. In fact, some women experience, severe symptoms and really struggle to function through a normal day never mind at work. Many of which sadly won’t explain to their bosses what they are going through because they feel embarrassed. Instead they will call in sick with other symptoms.
Moving forward, calling on the work place to do more to support menopausal women and de stigmatising the issue has been recommended for line managers and employers.
How employers can help support menopausal women, the CIPD made a few recommendations!
- Identify and reduce the barriers which could potentially prevent a menopausal colleague from performing and/or developing well in their role.
- Identify appropriate workplace adjustments
- Foster open and honest relationships between teams so it feels safe to share concerns relating to the menopause
- Have open and honest conversations
- Foster an ‘inclusive workplace environment which treats everyone fairly.
We absolutely need an open workplace culture where it feels safe to talk about the menopause. Employers need to be saying ‘we’re aware the menopause exists and we want you to feel able to tell us if you’re struggling, so we can support you through it. Having training, education and policies in place is absolutely key. There needs to be a clear policy on how employers will support menopausal women, whether that’s through education, awareness training or flexible working environment to help manage symptoms.