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It’s estimated that 1.2 billion people in the world will be menopausal by 2030. That’s why in our most recent webinar, ‘Supporting Professionals During Menopause: Exploring the Latest Employer Guidance’, we spoke about why it’s so important for organisations to consider menopause as part of their wellbeing policies.
Our speakers discussed what can be done to better support team members going through menopause and why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) needs to be a key part of the conversation.
The panel was made up of:
Read more about this topic below, with highlights from the active Q&A with our experts.
The House of Commons committee report, published in July 2022, made recommendations to the government around menopause. It referenced a 2019 CIPD survey, which found that three in five women aged 45 to 55 were negatively affected at work. This report explored menopause in three different ways and avenues. Firstly, as a health issue; secondly, as a workplace issue; thirdly and fundamentally, as an equality issue, with the need to provide better legal protection.
Many women (and other groups who experience menopause) end up reducing their hours at work, forgoing promotions, or quitting their jobs due to a lack of menopausal support, so it’s crucial to provide employees with the help they need. Many people don’t even realise they’re going through the menopause or perimenopause, so organisational knowledge is key to help spot the signs. Only one in four people who experience menopause have no symptoms, meaning three out of four do.
If organisations are well educated on menopause and have systems of support in place, we can help employees to manage this huge change in their lives and lessen the impact on their work for the duration of their symptoms.
When it comes to your organisational strategy around menopause, consider the colleague journey. Look at policy, communications, and guidance, whether you need standalone policies or individual recommendations. How do you then communicate those? Building up a knowledge bank across all colleagues helps everyone to be empowered around menopause and normalises the topic. If you don’t yet have a policy, how can you start to raise knowledge and awareness of menopause?
It's also important to have a clear objective which helps tie your efforts into wider company KPIs and into a very individual perspective. Managers have to understand that if they can spot signs of menopause early, they can intervene and prevent having to manage performance further down line.
Creating a business case helps attract your key stakeholders. Who are the right people in your organisation who’ll be the flag bearers for you? Who’ll go out and spread the word and help you get people talking more openly about menopause at work? Do you need a budget or are there enough free resources? Once you’ve created a plan, look at how to review it, such as the metrics you’ll use to show this is making a difference in the organisation.
It is imperative to boost attraction and retention of female leaders, and people all the way through your organisation who experience menopause. At the same time, DE&I needs to be an area of focus for organisations when putting menopause policies into place. It isn’t only women who go through this life change; trans and non-binary employees may also go through the menopause due to changing hormones or as a part of their body’s natural cycle, often with little support. Therefore, employers need to make wider considerations and extend support to those staff who are more likely to feel sidelined in this area.
Much of the specific research and analysis around menopause cites, or has involved, cisgender white women from highter socio-economic backgrounds - and even this information is limited. Therefore, we are missing the complete picture and there is still a lot of work to be done.
We know that people of many different backgrounds, in many different parts of the world, experience menopause at different ages and with different symptoms. Women’s monthly cycles vary widely, so everyone is unique in their menstrual life. In some parts of the world, menopause is celebrated, which is something we can take a lot of inspiration from closer to home. The whole menopause experience, from perimenopause to postmenopause, can last anywhere between two and 15 years. Everybody's experience is unique, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Watch the full webinar on-demand, including the insightful Q&A, to find out more about menopause support in the workplace and why it’s so important.
Alternatively, get in touch for a confidential discussion about how we can help with your hiring needs.
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