The impact of menopause in your teams - all the stats

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Menopause Statistics and How They Affect Your Workforce 

Menopause has recently become a hot topic with celebrities like Davina McCall, the government and chats with friends all openly discussing a previous taboo. The question is, is your business up to the task of dealing with the responsibility placed on employers to help women through this natural phase of life? 

A couple of years ago, we carried out a survery of our private clients and the results were astonishing:

  • 100% had taken time off work that would have been avoidable if their employers better supported their menopause needs
  • 100% were so uncomfortable talking about their periods or menopause that they cited other reasons for their sick days
  • 86% had left or had felt like leaving jobs they enjoyed and were good at because their women's health needs weren't being met by their employers

How Women’s Hormones Impact Mental Health 

As a HR manager, you will no doubt know the impact mental health can have on a woman’s performance at work, especially during the peri-menopause and menopause transition.  

According to Ryan Hopkins, future of wellbeing lead At Deloitte, “There is a deepening mental health recession. Last year more than eight million people were prescribed anti-depressants in the UK. The figure has grown every single year since 2015. With women almost doubling the number of men. The cost to employers of poor mental health has increased to £56bn in 2020-21 compared to £45bn in 2019.” 

So why do women feature so prevalently in needing extra support? Pressures of childcare, breaking glass ceilings, juggling work and home life all add to the stresses and strains for working women but there is also a factor that has until recently been brushed under the carpet: Hormones. 

How Hormones Impact Your Business 

The government's launch of the Menopause at Work initiative has been driven by the black and white impact that the menopause has on the workforce and overall productivity. The reason for the physical, mental and emotional changes experienced during the menopause is the fluctuation in hormone levels experienced during this time as the body prepares to leave its reproductive years behind.

From menopause absenteeism driven by a range of physical symptoms such as hot flushes, flooding, joint aches, stress, anxiety, emotions, period shame and migraines to a dip in menopause morale which can result in menopause quitting, women are currently being let down.  

Startling Menopause At Work Statistics 

  • The menopause affects around 51% of the population
  • Around 33% of the women going through meopause will be under the age of 45
  • According to the NHS website 2022, most women will experience menopausal symptoms with many experiencing issues that have an impact on everyday activities including work 
  • The Faculty of Occupational Medicine, identified that almost 8 out of 10 menopausal women are at work so it is an issue that can no longer be ignored 
  • The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found that 3 in 5 menopausal women were negatively affected at work (2019 study) 
  • BUPA found over 900,000 women in the UK have left their jobs because of menopausal symptoms (2022) – often at the peak of their careers and losing employers valuable knowledge and experience 

A Plea For HR Managers To Help Women Transition The Menopause Positively 

The link between hormonal imbalance and mood are clear but it certainly doesn’t mean nothing can be done to improve the situation for the woman and her colleagues. Institutions such as the NHS have recognised the importance of dealing with the menopause at work with their menopause workplace pledge so are you ready to step up for your organisation too? 

HR managers, this is your time to shine and champion the women in your business. It is your job to give your workforce the tools to perform and one tool that could have a dramatic impact on the morale of women in your team is targeted, holistic support during the menopause journey so that it is a positive transition. 

No doubt you have many tasks to juggle as a HR manager and being an expert in women’s health is maybe not something you would put top of your list of skills. This is where I am here to help you navigate the journey to happier, more productive female staff. 

How Can I Improve Women’s Experience at Work?  

As a crucial first step, I can help to identify the problems which will be individual for all female employees.  Of course, there are the universal issues of period shame, menopause fear and brushing off the women's health symptoms as "normal" - we can help start discussions and raise awareness of the reality.  I use my own experiences and those of my private clients to reassure women, and their managers, that menopause doesn't need to be an issue at work, and offering key advice for minimising symptoms and supporting staff (and loved ones) through the transition.

My clients tell me that I show a caring, upfront and knowledgeable attitude to the menopause and how it has an impact on women’s roles in the workplace. This alone takes away some of the anxiety straight away. I specialise in women’s health issues at work so women can transition natural phases of life with more ease while becoming more loyal to your business in the process. All while feeling supported in a confidential and safe environment.  

Women are going to be in the work environment much longer due to the increasing retirement age so by helping them adjust and flourish through the menopause makes sense to the bottom line. After all, it costs significantly less to retain staff than it does to replace. 

How I Help Women Transition The Menopause Positively 

I offer Menopause support, training, holistic therapy and workshops to help your business address this topic head on in a positive way. It can be a recruitment benefit to show you value female staff and it can impact dramatically on your staff retention and productivity;  proven support which is a fraction of the cost that it would be to replace a loyal member of your team is a real investment.

My menopause-focused service, as well as my wider women's health packages, can take as little or as much commitment from you as a HR manager that you choose but it will always help to reduce stress, absenteeism, anxiety, improve morale and reduce sudden burn out which all have an impact on business productivity. 

If you are curious how dealing with the effects of menopause in your workplace head on could have a positive impact on your business, give me a call.  

The first consultation is free of charge so you have nothing to lose but a lot to gain.  

About Sarah 

Sarah Darwen (née Coulson) is passionate about women’s health.  She was diagnosed with endometriosis in her mid 20s and, having undergone treatment (including an induced early menoapuse) under the NHS unsuccessfully was faced with the heart-breaking news that a hysterectomy was the next (and only) step.  She refused to accept that this was necessary and looked for alternatives to help her manage her condition. She’s been managing her endometriosis successfully for those last 20 years - most of those in remission, with only 2 flare-ups in that time.   

She now offers training on reproductive, hormonal and menstrual health to managers and staff, as well as effective treatment and self-management techniques to people struggling with their symptoms. 

If you would like to chat to Sarah about how your organisation can easily and effectively support the needs of the women in your workplace, please book a free Discovery Call here.  

Sources:  

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ryanhopkinsuk_there-is-a-deepening-mental-health-recession-activity-7000755779326648320-nzOa/ 
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/ 
  3. https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/nhs-england-signs-menopause-workplace-pledge/  
  4. https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/safety-and-innovation/menopause-in-the-workplace/#:~:text=Menopausal%20women%20are%20the%20fastest,average%20age%20is%2051%20years  
  5. https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/media/press/menopause-at-work#gref  
  6. https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1416/menopause-and-the-workplace/  
  7. https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/172500/new-report-mps-call-for-new-menopause-ambassador-to-keep-women-in-the-workplace/  

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