Menopause: why are we talking about it?

Menopause It Matters

October is Menopause Awareness Month.

Menopause isn’t a ‘women’s issue’, it is essential we all talk about it. Normalising the conversation around menopause must be the main focus; it is possible for organisations to make small changes that have a big impact.

Building awareness, understanding, support and confidence in the workplace is essential. There are many reasons why this is the case, namely that menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the work force and according to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) nearly 8 out of 10 of menopausal women are in work and 3 out of 4 of them are experiencing serious menopausal symptoms.

Interestingly, one in three of the workforce are over 50. With retirement age now at 66 and plans for this age to rise, women will spend all of their menopause transition throughout the latter years of their working life. 

It is worth noting that menopause is covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Equal Opportunities Act. According to a TUC survey, 9 out of 10 of those who had direct experience of menopause felt that it affected their working life. There are documented tribunal cases that have been bought about and won by employees under this legislation due to inadequate support being available.

Menopause has to be an inclusive subject within all organisations at all levels. One in four women consider leaving their job because dealing with their symptoms in the workplace is too difficult. This imposes a loss of knowledge, experience and talent within the workplace.

An open dialogue and awareness help make organisations a great place to work, giving employees confidence to ask for help and support if needed. Adopting this culture is the right thing to do as it not only helps individuals, but also the organisation’s performance and financial bottom line. 

Organisations investing in their people are reporting a positive impact on moral, productivity, and employee retention. Implementing menopause awareness training and support is a must within all organisations.