Let’s start with some interesting stats about Menopause in the Workplace:
- Women comprise almost half the UK workforce – they’re working longer and they’re working in more senior positions too.
- Growth in female leadership means the number of females in FTSE Board roles have doubled since 2011.
- Menopause is more relevant in the workplace today than it was even 20 years ago when significantly less women were working through menopause or reaching senior positions.
- The average age for menopause in the UK is 51 and currently 75% of women of a menopausal age are in work.
- A study by the University of Nottingham in 2013 showed that nearly 50% of women experiencing menopause symptoms believed their job performance had been negatively affected.
The physical and emotional changes of menopause can be far reaching and have a significant impact in the workplace not just for the woman experiencing symptoms but for the wider team too. There can be significant discomfort and embarrassment for colleagues, line managers and team members if they don’t understand what’s going on.
Ultimately we want menopause to be a topic that no one’s embarrassed or afraid to talk about but how do you get men and younger women involved in the menopause conversation?
One solution is for a senior young woman or man to act as project sponsor. Not just a figurehead but to actively lead and participate.
The project sponsor isn’t just there to sign off your menopause policy. He or she is there to lead the change, raise the profile with the leadership team and promote a culture whereby female employees feel comfortable disclosing menopause related health problems.
The project sponsor should share best practice with industry peers and evidence how positive attitudes to ageing and menopause have a direct impact on retention rates, employee engagement and financial performance for the whole organisation.
It is crucial to involve all employees in your menopause programme.
Workshops are a popular training tool especially for the women who need advice on managing symptoms like brain fog, hot flushes and poor concentration. They work equally well for managers who need to understand why menopause is a problem for business and the reasonable adjustments open to them to support female team members.
But how do you get the men and younger women desperate to avoid the potential awkwardness and embarrassment to show up to a menopause awareness session?
One of the things that’s proving popular with my clients is a short but powerful pre recorded Menopause Awareness Training session employees can watch at their desk. There’s the added benefit of not having to take large chunks of time out to attend a workshop.
If you’d like to explore the option of workshops or pre recorded trainings for your organisation email firstname.lastname@example.org.