Words:Rebekah Bostan of Diversity Puzzle
There is a career challenge that over 50% of the UK workforce will experience during their working lives that significantly impacts their productivity, confidence and mental health. This event is little understood, ill prepared for and most employers have no policies or guidelines in place to help employees cope with this new life stage.
Welcome to the world of ‘working through the menopause’, the most overlooked career challenge facing the UK workplace.
Over 4m menopausal women in the workforce
The rise in economic participation of women in the UK workforce is leading to stronger and more robust senior talent pipelines than ever before. The ONS estimates in March 2019 there are around 4.38 million women aged 50-64 years old in employment in the UK. This also means that a larger proportion of the women than ever will experience symptoms of menopause while still at work, often at the time they are entering senior roles.
Nearly half of women experience menopause symptoms that negatively affect their productivity
Symptoms can start anywhere up to 10 years before menopause and studies have shown that between 40%-50% of women feel that menopausal symptoms are affecting their productivity at work, even leading to some women exiting the workforce prematurely. Wildly fluctuating oestrogen levels can cause radical shifts in our dopamine, glutamate, oxytocin and serotonin levels, leading to mood swings, hot flushes, memory fog, depression and sleeping difficulties. The overall declining levels of oestrogen also impact receptors all over your body leading to aches and pains, and increased risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, dementia, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Over 2m women in the UK are struggling
Despite this being a natural transition towards the end of a women’s reproductive years over 2 million women in the UK are struggling. Over the last couple of years, the taboo around menopause has decreased but working through the menopause remains a marginalized topic. This is particularly so in relation to senior professional roles where any apparent cognitive decline directly relates to your perceived competence.
Check out other blog posts by Rebekah Bostan, from Diversity-Puzzle.com including how to stop playing at being superhuman during the peri-menopause and how to stop ‘Shoulding’ on yourself and start celebrating the joy of here and now.
Women in the City is looking to break this silence
To support professional women, WiC, in partnership with Diversity Puzzle, is
- planning an informative and interactive evening seminar in May on the important topic of how best to manage peri and post menopause symptoms at work
- conducting a survey to help ensure the seminar meets the needs of peri- and menopausal career women and assess the impact of this stage of women’s lives
We’re delighted that leading menopause GP Dr Louise Newsom, The Menopause Doctor, has agreed to be our Keynote Speaker, and she’ll be joined by a number of panellists with expertise in different aspects of menopause support.
To be the first to find out more about the Seminar, please click HERE
If you’d like to Sponsor or Partner our MenoPositive Seminar, click HERE for details
To help us plan our seminar, please complete our MenoPositive Survey which takes around 6 minutes. The data is gathered anonymously and it will help us to understand where you are currently in your menopause juggle, what symptoms are most impacting you and what help you are currently accessing.
The Survey also provides information on menopause symptoms which you may find useful.