Updated: Feb 18, 2022
Worldwide, 657 million women are aged 45–59, and around half contribute to the labor force during their menopausal years. The diversity of menopause experience and the effect of menopause on employment are shaped not only by symptoms but also by the physical and psychosocial characteristics of the workplace environment. • Menopause is now considered to be an important gender- and age-equality issue, and dealing with its consequences should be part of maintaining an inclusive work environment. • Retaining women in employment during their menopausal years will attract, develop and secure a workforce with valuable skills and talent.
Workplaces should create an open, inclusive and supportive culture regarding menopause, involving, health professionals and human resource managers working together.
Women should not be discriminated against, marginalized or dismissed because of menopausal symptoms. Health and allied health professionals should recognize that, for some women, menopausal symptoms can adversely affect the ability to work, which can lead to reduction of working hours, underemployment or unemployment, and consequently financial insecurity in later life.
“There are very few older women left at my senior level in my traditional profession. If I mentioned my perimenopausal symptoms, I would be stigmatised and disrespected as someone who was no longer rational or capable,” said one respondent.
2019 survey conducted by BUPA and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three in five menopausal women- usually aged between 45 and 55- were negatively affected at work and that almost 900,000 women in the U.K. left their jobs over an undefined period of time because of menopausal symptoms. This could mean that women are leaving businesses “at the peak of their experience” which will “impact productivity”. Women in this age group are likely to be eligible for senior management roles, and so their exit can lessen diversity at executive levels. It can also contribute to the gender pay-gap and feed into a disparity in pensions.
Guardian employment tribunal article
This is an interesting piece highlighting a steady rise in cases of women taking their employers to court citing the menopause as proof of unfair dismissal and direct sex discrimination.
This article demonstrates that women are feeling increasingly empowered to challenge employers who do not understand the impact the menopause can have and who fail to offer appropriate support.
Of the 70% of women in employment in the UK, almost 4.5 million are in this age bracket.
employers’ interests to retain these women: many older women are at the peak of their careers, with research proving that the most diverse companies are more likely make a greater profit than less diverse peers.
We regularly hear horror stories about how women are discriminated against in the workforce, and sadly menopause is one area where employers keep getting it wrong
Adam Pavey He said the rise in the number of tribunals was due to improved education and information, making women better informed and more empowered.
“But the law in this area is too far behind the reality,” he said, warning that tribunals’ decisions vary according to which judge hears the case.