Last night, Channel 4 aired the second of its fascinating programmes about the menopause: Sex, Mind and the Menopause.
In the space of a few years, menopause has gone from being regarded as a taboo or niche subject to part of our national conversation. Davina McCall has done so much to raise awareness of the impacts of the menopause on women's physical and mental health, and as she says, we are at the start of a "menopause revolution".
Channel 4 commissioned the largest survey of peri-menopausal and menopausal women in the UK. The stand out statistics for me were that out of the 4,000 women between the ages of 45 and 55:
- 70% suffered from brain fog, 52% lost confidence and 61% lost concentration
- 84% said that their employers didn't offer any support
- 79% said their employers didn't have a menopause network
Women make up 47% of the workforce and outnumber men in many areas of the labour market. The majority of women affected by menopause are the fastest growing economically active group in the UK. Around 70% of working women in the UK (that’s almost 4.4 million) are aged between 50 and 64.
Around 1 in 10 women leave their jobs because of their menopausal symptoms. If you don't support women then you will lose their skills and expertise. It really is as simple as that.
We've been talking about this for years and have developed a number of free resources to help you.
Here’s a link to our recent podcast which discusses the symptoms of the menopause with leading expert, Dr Rebecca Lewis, Jill Kay a professional woman suffering from menopausal symptoms and our legal expert Jenny Arrowsmith. This explores:
- How you can encourage women to talk about the menopause at work
- What symptoms women experience and what causes them
- What treatments are available to alleviate symptoms
- Why it’s important for businesses to have a menopause policy or menopause strategies in place
- What employers should do to support female employees at work.
2. Menopause guide
We also have a free menopause guide for employees which answers a number of frequently asked questions on this topic and an employer guide which provides a free menopause policy.
Our 1 minute quiz has been particularly popular and aims to dispel myths about the menopause and peri-menopause.
4. Survey results
We also commissioned a survey from YouGov to find out how many employers support peri-menopausal and menopausal women in their organisations. The results are summarised in this report which indicates that many employers are still aren't doing enough to support and retain staff during this time. This corresponds with the Channel 4 findings.
We are hosting a free webinar on menopause in the workplace on Monday 16 May 2022. You'll find out:
- Why the menopause is a workplace issue
- How a menopause policy and other cost effective steps can make a positive difference
- What other employers are doing and the benefits they’re seeing
- Why legal obligations might be changing and could require employers to do more
The session will be recorded and sent to all registered attendees afterwards.
Click here to register.
We have also added a new training programme on the menopause as part of our popular 'back to basics' training modules. It will help line manager understand the legal issues and feel more comfortable having conversations about the menopause.
Please get in touch with our lovely partner Jenny Arrowsmith if you'd like further information.
Back to basics training for line managers
We have a suite of 'back to basics' training for line managers which are designed to give managers the tools they need to proactively manage the key employment law issues they encounter in their day to day lives, identify key risks and know when to raise these with HR at an early stage. This includes a module on handling grievances
The online format means that modules can be accessed at any time and completed at each manager’s own pace – perfect for busy schedules. Most modules come with an accompanying workbook allowing managers to put their knowledge into practice.
As there’s no limit on the number of managers that can access the modules once purchased, this is a cost-effective option for you to upskill line managers. The training would also be suitable for junior HR professionals.
You can find more about the training here and Jenny Arrowsmith can answer any other questions you have.
We can help
Our partner, Jenny Arrowsmith regularly helps organisations support menopausal women and is an expert in this area. Please get in touch if you'd like details of the training she can offer or need specific advice on this issue.
McCall is part of a wider menopause movement that is challenging the notion of “keep calm and carry on and shut up”. She added. “Women themselves until recently somehow felt they didn’t deserve this [HRT] and they felt ashamed of it and ashamed to ask for it. They felt it was a sign of weakness. And now it’s a sign of strength.”