For many businesses, there is a fear factor when talking about the menopause, even though it affects a much larger section of the workforce than pregnancy. This is mostly down to a lack of understanding of how the menopause can affect women at work and the stigma surrounding its discussion and acceptance.
What businesses perhaps don’t recognise is how much sick leave and staff turnover can actually be attributed to symptoms of the menopause. The financial and wellbeing impact menopause can have on your business is not to be underestimated.
Having a menopause policy in place is great, but what is really needed is a cultural change when it comes to addressing how to support women. In many instances women themselves are not aware that symptoms they are experiencing are menopause related and don’t seek medical advice or intervention.
So the first thing which is key is education – both for women themselves, as well as their employers, managers and colleagues. Whilst the menopause will present varying symptoms for each woman, the possible list of symptoms is extensive and far reaching. There are more than 30 symptoms of the menopause.
Secondly, employers must work to create channels of communication where women feel comfortable discussing the issues they are facing. It is of paramount importance that employers, managers and HR departments have an understanding of the menopause and its potential impact on individuals within the workplace together with the confidence to support the same in an approachable manner.
The more we can do to open up the conversation about menopause and remove the stigma, the better.
Addressing the menopause can not only promote lower sickness absence, retain valuable talent and increase productivity; it also increases engagement and company loyalty.
If you would like to discuss how you can address menopause in your workplace, support your employees and train your managers, please do get in touch.