Menopause in the Workplace
Women make up more than 50% of the workforce and those numbers are expected to increase. When women reach their professional peak, usually between the ages of 40 and 60, they may also be experiencing menopause. Unfortunately, most workplaces don’t recognize the impact of menopause symptoms nor provide support to help their workers. The lack of workplace support, along with a lack of healthcare providers educated on menopause, leaves many women fending for themselves. This creates a lose-lose proposition for both the individual and the employer. Women who leave the workforce early are negatively impacted emotionally and financially, losing their income and peer support. Women untreated for their menopause symptoms may have trouble concentrating, resulting in lower productivity and higher healthcare costs. The employer loses too. Women with untreated symptoms may take more sick leave or even drop out of the workforce entirely. If they leave the workforce, employers lose valuable senior female role models with extensive institutional knowledge leading to recruitment and training costs for replacements.
What’s the solution?
More employers are starting to recognize the benefit of keeping women in the workplace through the creation of menopause support policies. Offering flexible work hours, remote work when needed, providing fans or cool rooms, creating workplace support groups, and designating a “menopause point person” are examples of successful strategies employers are utilizing to keep women on the job.