Let's Talk About the 'M' Word!
Menopause. We’re all familiar with the term but so few of us know what it entails. Around one in three of the UK workforce is over 50, a large proportion of which are women who are likely to go through the menopause transition during their working lives. So why do so many women continue to suffer in silence? What can workplaces do to break the taboo?
As menopause is a normal life event for women, not an illness or medical condition, the symptoms are often undervalued. For every 10 women experiencing menopausal symptoms, 6 admit that the symptoms have a negative impact on their work. In addition, there is the startling estimation of around 10% of women that stop work altogether due to the severity of their symptoms.
The lack of awareness for menopause extends beyond the workplace and is generally UK-wide, with even women of menopausal age lacking understanding of the symptom and side-effects. This could partly be due to the intimate nature of the symptoms which many can feel uncomfortable discussing with family members and doctors, let alone employers and colleagues.
Thankfully, the organisations that are introducing menopause in workplace policies and practices are on a steady increase. Of course, encouraging an open conversation about menopause is not just beneficial to women in the workplace but also for employees with relatives going through the transition. By informing and supporting employees, companies will be able to reap the rewards of a more productive and harmonious workforce.
Does your workplace have a menopause policy in place? Do you feel like you need to be more informed of the symptoms? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!