It’s time to talk about menopause at work says Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing
To mark World Menopause Day, Howden Employee Health and Wellbeing is urging companies to talk more openly about women’s health issues by offering a new guide ‘Supporting women’s health in the workplace: from periods to menopause and everything in between’ full of practical guidance on women’s health from periods, to fertility, perimenopause, menopause and female cancers.
According to Women’s Health Concern,[i] while up to a third of women experience severe menopause symptoms including poor concentration, memory loss, low moods, tiredness and lower confidence, they are often too embarrassed to disclose their issues at work for fear of being stigmatised, and Howden says this needs to change urgently.
Research[ii] shows the lack of support for women going through the menopause is forcing women to take time off work or even leave their jobs. 3,800 women were surveyed on behalf of menopause expert, Dr Louise Newson, who runs Newson Health Research and Education, and the majority felt menopause or the months and years leading up to it had a huge impact on their careers.
Around 59% took time off work due to symptoms and 18% were off for more than eight weeks. Half of those who took at least eight weeks off work resigned or took early retirement. One in five women passed on the chance to go for a promotion they would have otherwise considered. Most women surveyed (60%) said their workplace offered no menopause support.
Cheryl Brennan, Managing Director UK Employee Benefits at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing says, “Women are turning down promotions and leaving their jobs because of their health, and this just shouldn’t be happening. Companies must do more to support women going through the menopause and the first step is talking openly about health issues so women feel comfortable they can turn to their managers.
“Our guide suggests how making small adjustments to the working environment can improve health and help to lessen some of the symptoms, such as offering enhanced flexible working and providing different equipment or facilities that support environmental needs. Medical assistance can also be key as it may be possible to include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in private medical insurance.
She added, “Women’s health is unique and personal to each individual so it’s important for employers to offer a comprehensive range of benefits and support. This can include awareness and educational campaigns around key events like World Menopause Day which can reduce any stigmas, training managers so employees feel comfortable and confident talking to them, through to introducing new policies or flexible working and offering practical support such as access to healthcare services, specialist apps, and health checks.
To download the ‘Supporting women’s health in the workplace: from periods to menopause and everything in between’ guide click here.
For more information, please visit www.howdengroup.co.uk
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