Half of menopausal women are less likely to try for top jobs and are not getting enough support in the workplace, research finds
Women suffering from the menopause are less likely to apply for a promotion, scuppering efforts to get more females into top jobs.
New research suggests women are not getting enough support in the workplace when they enter the menopause even though symptoms can be quite severe.
The poor treatment can hamper their progression in later years and make it more likely they retire early, it added.
A survey of 2,400 women by the Fawcett Society, a women’s rights charity, found that half were less likely to apply for a promotion because of the menopause (file photo)
Claire Tunley, who is chief executive of the influential Financial Services Skills Commission, said that although employers assist mothers returning from maternity leave, there is little discussion about the menopause – even though the condition impacts all women.
The menopause affects women typically between 45 and 55 years of age as fertility ends, often leading to severe symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, and heart palpitations.
A survey of 2,400 women by the Fawcett Society, a women’s rights charity, found that half were less likely to apply for a promotion because of the menopause. Just over half said they were less likely to take on extra responsibilities.
Tunley said: ‘This is a serious issue. If businesses don’t address this and don’t provide support, then they’ll lose out on female talent in this age group.
‘This is the age group where women are getting into senior roles, so this is quite a stark finding.
Women suffering from the menopause are less likely to apply for a promotion, scuppering efforts to get more females into top jobs (file photo used)
‘Lots of people talk about maternity and how do we support new mothers who return to work and need to work in a flexible way, but nobody is talking about the menopause.
‘But every woman is going to go through the menopause at some point, whereas not everyone will become a mum.
‘This is an issue that isn’t discussed, there is a taboo around it, and it actually can have a seismic impact on the talent available.’
There are nearly four million women aged 45 to 55 in the workforce, meaning there are few workplaces where the menopause is not being experienced.
Some City firms are coaching their managers on how to discuss the menopause in the office.
Last year The Mail on Sunday revealed that PwC would train staff on the issue. The accounting giant, which employs 22,000 people in the UK, published guidance on how to discuss the menopause and launched seminars to educate younger staff on how it could affect them.
But this has sparked additional debate over the role of employers and whether it implies that women will be incapacitated by the menopause and less able to do their jobs.
At the end of last year, a taskforce co-chaired by MP Mims Davies recommended the Government appointed a ‘menopause ambassador’ to represent the interests of menopausal women.