We all know the gender pay gap isn’t simply about pay.
Yes its too often true women are paid less than their male colleagues in an equitable role. However, the key issue is that, while numbers are on the rise, too few women hold the type of senior positions that pay the big bucks.
Big business is good at recruiting women – the number of women in employment has been rising for a number of years with women now comprising nearly half the UK workforce. However organisations seem to struggle to retain top female talent.
Common thinking is that time taken out to have a family is the reason many women don’t reach the senior positions their more than capable of achieving. Consequently we have robust legislation and policies in place to support women through parenthood. Affordable childcare, maternity leave and flexible working options are all designed to help women stay on track if they choose to have a family.
But what many businesses fail to do is focus on retaining talent through menopause. And menopause isn’t a choice, it’s a certainty.
100% of women will go through menopause and the symptoms which commonly being to manifest late 40s early 50s – the age group where the gender pay gap is greatest – can quickly affect performance at work and impact relationships with managers, clients and colleagues.
Brain fog, sleepless nights, anxiety, mood swings and temperature bursts can give your career and confidence a bigger knock than kids.
And yet, aside from general protection under the Equality Act there’s no legislation in place to protect women through menopause. Furthermore, very few companies have polices, guidelines or practical help available to support their mid life female employees.
Menopause is more than a ‘nice to have’ health and wellbeing piece. It’s critical to business performance, profitability and closing the gender pay gap.
For more information on the best approach for your company with regards to managing the impact of menopause in the workplace for both employer and employee please contact me.