The Care Sector is fuelled by a high proportion of women, of whom all doctors, nurses, dieticians, podiatrists and other professionals, will go through menopause. If you employ women, it’s likely your workplace is, or will be, directly affected by this.
Menopause has been around for millenia. As long as women have existed, they have experienced menopause. Anyone born female – who lives long enough – will experience pre, peri and post menopause. It is inevitable.
There are 3.5 million women over 50 in the workplace of whom 1 in 3 will be peri or post- menopausal. 80% of those 3.5 million women will experience symptoms; some of which will be severe and debilitating. So that’s 2.8m women having symptoms, and that’s without counting the ones under 50. So, how many women do you employ?
For employers, menopause has the potential to:
• disrupt business flow
• create retention problems
• lead to employment tribunals.
Everybody’s heard about hot flushes. But for many women they are the least of their problems. One client told me she thought her career was over and said menopause hit her like a bus. She had:
• Crashing low mood
• Sleep problems – including the 4am thoughts of mortality
• Shocking disappearance of a train of thought
• General not remembering
• Periods flooding randomly and uncontrollably
• UTI’s and sexual difficulties
• Hot flushes
• Muscle pain, joint pain,
• She felt she’d aged overnight
• She didn’t recognise herself
• No energy, exhausted, gut issues
• Confidence completely disappeared.
Symptoms come and go for over ten years and most women carry on valiantly. For 90% of women, all they may need is some educational support; for the 10% of women who find menopause a challenge, they will appreciate additional support.
Creating a Menopause-approved workplace is a good place to start. A common understanding that women go through menopause and symptoms will instantly take the pressure off women. For example, it’s ok to have a hot flush, or that women may leave a meeting at record speed, and that memory problems are probably not a sign of dementia.
Awareness training for the women themselves and the workforce in general is the easiest and most effective way for your organisation to become Menopause-approved.
The Care Sector employs women who love their work and would do anything to stay. The best employers offer support through what is a perfectly natural event.