A new report shows the impact of severe menopause symptoms on women’s career progression and early retirement plans.
A quarter of women are more likely to leave the financial services workforce due to their menopause experience, according to a new survey.
The Fawcett Society, working with Standard Chartered Bank and the Financial Services Skills Commission, conducted a large-scale survey of over 2,400 women and men working in the UK financial services sector at all levels, from over 100 organisations. The research, Menopause in the Workplace: Impact on Women in Financial Services, sought to understand how the menopause impacts women working in the sector and how employers can better support their employees.
The report found only 22% of women and trans men currently experiencing the menopause disclose their status at work. Worries about social stigma are a bigger barrier to disclosure than preferences for privacy.
It also found that for almost half of women and trans men who are currently experiencing the menopause, it has made them less likely to want to apply for a promotion. Most of the women in the survey who reduced their seniority or left their roles as a result of their menopause experience believed that had they known more about the menopause and been given support, they would have stayed or progressed.
Andrew Bazeley, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the Fawcett Society, said: “Women told us that the menopause is where mental health was five years ago – and that employers have a role to play in breaking down the stigma through integrating menopause into their diversity and inclusion efforts. With only a fifth of women even sharing their menopause status at work, senior leaders can send an important message that this is not a taboo subject simply by talking about it themselves.”
The report comes as Timpson announced that they would pay for hormone replacement therapy [HRT] if employees were prescribed it, as Harper Collins became the latest employer to announce a menopause policy and as another survey of 2,000 employees and 500 business owners by Benenden Health found 23 per cent of women who have serious menopause symptoms have left their jobs, 18 per cent said they were not given a pay rise or promotion and 13 per cent said they had to go through a disciplinary procedure. Timpson’s move comes as Labour MP Carolyn Harris is to present a bill in Parliament for the abolition of charges for hormone replacement therapy on 29th October.