In July 2017, a report published by the University of Leicester School of business, found that menopause is the ‘missing life stage’ considered by business and companies and what place policy at workplace culture and workplace training. Pregnancy, families, parenting and retirement are all considered as life stages that have an effect on employment conditions. Menopause didn’t rate a mention.
Evidence suggests that midlife women feel invisible, marginalised or unsupported to some degree in their workplaces.
It’s extremely important that employers understand what menopause is and what sorts of things they can be doing to support the women who work in that organisation. There should be a range of different things available to help women manage their symptoms so they could include trying things like USB fans or the ability to work more flexibly from home.
The data shows that the cost of replacing somebody who leaves the workplace, for example, a midlife woman who isn’t able to manage her menopausal symptoms is upwards of $40,000. Costs vary by industry and by sector, but what it doesn’t include all the other costs associated with losing experience as well as the actual explicit costs of recruitment and selection itself.
Menopause is inevitable. It’s a universal experience for women.
The more supportive workplaces can are, the more understanding that colleagues and managers have, the more likely it is that midlife women will be able to go through this normal, natural period of their lives without too many difficulties.
Open, supportive, and compassionate workplace cultures can go a long way to achieving that.
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