Two new surveys highlight the impact of a lack of support for menopausal women on retention and career progression.
Women going through the menopause are less likely to apply for a promotion, while a lack of support in the workplace can hamper their career progression and make it more likely they retire early, according to two new surveys.
The first of 2,400 women by the Fawcett Society found that half of menopausal women were less likely to apply for a promotion because of the menopause, while just over half said they were less likely to take on extra responsibilities.
Another survey of 2,000 women currently experiencing menopause symptoms, commissioned by childcare service Koru Kids, reveals that nearly three-quarters of women (73%) experiencing menopause do not feel able to talk openly about their symptoms with colleagues. As a result, 70% of women experiencing menopause who needed to take time off as a result of their symptoms did not tell their employer the real reason they needed to take time off.
A quarter of women (24%) who are experiencing menopause symptoms are unhappy in their jobs because of a lack of support, with 63% noting that their place of work has not introduced any kind of policy to make things easier for anyone experiencing menopause symptoms.
Koru Kids have launched its Stop The Pause campaign focused on driving awareness of the impact that menopausal symptoms can have on women’s careers to highlight the support that women need in the workplace.
The report highlights just how many women without support are under pressure to leave the workforce this year. Of those looking to leave their job, the pressures put on them (42%), not receiving the flexible working they need to manage their symptoms (39%) and lack of understanding from management of what they are experiencing (39%) are the top reasons as to why women experiencing menopause are looking to leave.
The research found that the menopause ranks second in the list of what has impacted women’s careers to date, behind having children.
Rachel Carrell, the founder of Koru Kids, said: “We conducted this research because we wanted to understand the experiences of many of our older nannies and childminders. The families who use our services really value women with experience of looking after their children. These women are lifelines to so many families.”
She added: “Women should never be pushed out of the workplace because of their biology. Menopause is a natural part of women’s life course, and shouldn’t mean the end of their career. As a society, we need to support older women with flexible working and health support so they don’t fall out of the workplace needlessly. We want to attract 5,000 nannies and childminders to join us this year in our menopause-friendly workplace. I’d love to see menopausal women able to press play on their careers again.”
Koru Kids has developed a package of support for menopausal women who train to work through the platform as a nanny, including a BUPA menopause healthcare plan and access to the MBody menopause support app, a female-first wellness platform that gives women the tools to track, manage and improve symptoms from hormonal changes in their body.
Several employers have launched menopause policies in the last two years amid concerns about retention and progression and the Women and Equalities Committee is looking at whether legislation is needed to stop discrimination about menopausal women in the workplace.