With World Menopause Day falling on Monday 18th October 2021, we thought it was worth taking a closer look at just how this natural occurrence in all women could impact them, their work, and business in general.
World Menopause Day is a worldwide awareness call for women who face health issues when approaching, during, and beyond the menopause.
Normalising communications and conversations about Menopause in the workplace is critical and above all else providing advice and support for all who are experiencing symptoms. Studies have shown that menopause symptoms can have a significant impact on attendance and performance in the workplace. The impact on women’s work can be wrongly identified as a performance issue, and menopausal symptoms can also contribute to women deciding to leave their jobs early, or not put themselves forward for specialist posts or promotion, adversely affecting the diversity of teams within organisations, especially within older age groups. Menopause symptoms vary between women, with around 25% suffering severe symptoms. Not only can this have a significant impact on the individuals, but also on their work colleagues and performance. Poor concentration, tiredness, poor memory, depression, anxiety, reduced confidence, and particularly, hot flushes are all cited as symptoms of Menopause. It has been estimated that around 10% of women actually stop work altogether because of their severe Menopausal symptoms.
Saska Graville described her Menopause as “a real loss of confidence at work.” She went on to explain, “I experienced a fight or flight panics every time I was asked to do something and had a complete inability to remember facts.”
So, what can employers do to help, and how should Menopause policies be integrated into your HR procedures and processes?
Simple changes such as having fans available in the workplace for those who need it, having a flexible hours policy where appropriate, and creating opportunities to facilitate discussion about symptoms that are impacting on the ability to work are some easy options to implement.
For further information on how to integrate menopause support policies into your organisation, please contact me, Sally White, Director of SYLO | Beyond HR., at firstname.lastname@example.org, or read our advice here.