Are workplaces doing enough to support menopausal women?
As mentioned in a recent GenM report, menopause support must be more than a managerial tick-box training in the workplace. It is vital that it educates the entire workforce on how best to support women during this time.
The report found that 35% of workers said they would report a menopause-related absence as a different illness showing that we aren’t yet breaking down these barriers women feel around discussing the menopause and the symptoms they suffer. In fact, in the GenM Opportunity Report: Why the Menopause is a Catalyst for Ethical Business Growth, 50% of menopausal workers said they were reluctant to talk about the menopause at work for fear of being marginalised or discriminated against. Without creating a safe environment where workers feel comfortable asking for advice or support, any initiatives put in place by organisations will fail to have the desired impact.
There are calls for workplaces to start placing more importance and publicising menopause policies in the same way as pregnancy and maternity policies. There have also been discussions about whether or not there should be trained leaders like first aiders or fire marshals in every company to truly ensure there is dedicated support for women, as well as family members who may be supporting someone close to them suffering from menopausal symptoms.
With menopause becoming more widely discussed in the last few years, it could well be that the next wave of women who are entering this phase of life will play a key part in making changes to the way support is provided in the workplace – we sure hope so!