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Training Blog: Menopause in the Workplace

With 10% of women leaving work because of menopause, how does menopause affect work and what can employers do to help?

Menopause is often discussed in terms of its effects on women's sex life and health. However, menopause can have a significant impact on career and employment prospects for women, trans and non-binary individuals.

Recent research by the Fawcett Society and Channel 4 revealed that 1 in 10 women have left work because of symptoms of the menopause. They also found that 14 per cent of women aged 45-55 had reduced their hours and 8 per cent had not applied for a promotion because of symptoms.

This article explores the ways in which menopause can impact work and the steps employers can take to address this growing challenge.

What is menopause and how is it managed?

Menopause is a natural process that happens at the end of the female reproductive life. It is the point in time when the ovaries stop producing eggs and the body stops producing the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen sooner or much later.

There are many ways to manage these symptoms and help people feel more comfortable during this transition including HRT, lifestyle changes and wellbeing support such as mindfulness and counselling.

What are the effects of menopause on work?

Menopause can affect work in many ways:

Why is it so important for employers to understand the effects of menopause?

With female employment rates at near record heights, there are more people who will be affected by menopause in the workplace than ever before. In particular, women aged 45-55 years who represent an increasing proportion of the UK workforce (Office for National Statistics Labour Market Overview).

When the wider team is understanding of the effect of menopause and the stigma is addressed, those experiencing the negative effects of menopause can feel more supported in their role. It is also an experience women can relate to each other about at work, this can create opportunities for peer support systems, ensuring they feel supported and less isolated by their experience.

Everyone should be empowered to access support they may need to improve their experience in the workplace, free from stigma and judgement. This benefits employers with increased productivity, boosted morale and decreased turnover.  

 How can you support your team?

To book workplace wellbeing training with our experienced team, please contact training@solentmind.org.uk

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