• Judith Moeckell

Menopause: Not just a woman’s issue

Updated: 6 days ago

There is still a lot of stigma attached to a biological event that all women will go through in their lives. Certainly my generation have gone into this phase generally with very sketchy knowledge of what the menopause entails, passed down from our mothers. My own mother told me she felt a bit ‘dizzy’, and we all knew somebody's mother/aunt/friend who had hot flushes, and that was about it.

We now know there is so much more to it, and given that we have an ageing workforce, organisations with women aged over 40 in critical roles are becoming more common. Soon, 1 in 6 of the workforce will be women over 50, and with the average age of women experiencing the menopause sitting at 51, it's something employers need to be sensitive to, and aware of. Organisations need to make sure they are prepared from a wellbeing, legal and HSE perspective, to support female employees in this stage of their lives.

Symptoms & statistics

29.5% suffer from insomnia

31.9% suffer from anxiety and worry

34.3% experienced an effect on their focus and concentration levels

40.3% experienced fatigue

35.1% experienced hot flushes

  • 3 in 4 women suffer from symptoms

  • 1 in 4 suffer from serious symptoms

  • 1 in 4 women consider leaving their employment due to effects of the menopause

Why should employers take note?

Apart from a desire to be a good employer, commercially it makes sense: the average cost of re-employing someone is £30,000. Legally, the menopause is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

What can employers do?

Think about the risk to the business from an HSE, attrition and loss of critical skills perspective.

  • Provide education for line managers

  • Look at the working environment (noise, temperatures, ventilation, natural light)

  • Create a menopause-friendly culture: where to get help, awareness sessions (including for both male and younger sections of the workforce)

  • Workplace facilities: desk fans, access to cold water, temperature control, and washroom facilities

  • Access to occupational health for all employees

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