In the workplace, menopausal women make up the largest demographic, this should mean that businesses prioritize their health and needs the most but unfortunately many businesses have fallen flat. According to The Menopause in the Workplace report, 44% of the polled women shared their work was affected by symptoms of menopause, 61% believed they lost motivation, and 52% lost confidence. In addition, around 10% of women have left their job, 14% reduced their hours, and 8% were deterred from applying for promotions due to growing symptoms.
Recognizing menopause and addressing related-work challenges will not only bring more awareness within the workplace but also increase gender equality and create a comfortable and inclusive work environment. Challenges such as–difficulty concentrating, hot flashes, dizziness, mood changes, and other prominent symptoms need to be normalized and addressed within the workplace. We also have to look at it from a mental point of view, in order to normalize it and provide support, we have to desensitize and change our outlook from it being unmentionable. With the current, more advanced research into women’s reproductive health, our science is already on the move to improving society’s outlook, but it needs to be updated at work.
Menospace, a specialized training company that focuses on the wellbeing of those going through menopause, was founded and created by Haley White. Based in London, England, Menospace offers training, webinars, workshops, and other programs to better enhance employers and employees knowledge about menopause. According to a survey conducted in 2019, over 900,000 women left their jobs due to lack of support regarding their menopausal health challenges. Supporting these challenges not only boosts employee satisfaction but it eliminates the stereotypes and negative attitude surrounding this life altering change.
“Menopause is a natural transition that occurs in women's lives, typically between the ages of 45-55, (although 1 in 100 experience it under 40) and can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are disruptive and can have a significant impact on a woman's quality of life, including her work performance,” stated White.
In order to promote support, many businesses need to adopt positive attitudes and languages–they need to create programs, policies, and environments that give safety and make women feel heard. Acknowledgment in the workplace should eventually go as far as including therapy, support groups, and other forms of inclusion into the company’s health insurance plan, or even developing initiatives that support paid time-off, similar to that of maternity leave.
“When employees feel supported, they are more likely to stay with their employer long-term. It also helps to increase productivity. By reducing the impact of menopause symptoms, employees can focus on their work and be more productive. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment,” stated White.