Your guide to supporting your female workforce.
It’s a sad fact that many of your workforce are suffering in silence at work. They are tired, suffering with poor memory, have headaches, anxiety, joint pain and hot flushes. They are not getting the support they deserve. Why? Because they are suffering the effects of menopause, they feel they can’t talk about it and they believe their manager may not support them.
Your role as an employer means that you have a vital role in efficiently managing any issues impacting on your team’s productivity, morale, skills and sickness absence. And by supporting their health and wellbeing you will be rewarded with an unstoppable workforce of talented women… that’s almost 45% of the professional workforce in the UK.
Let’s break the taboo
Starting with the basics…
- Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life – 13 million women in the UK are either peri or post-menopausal.
- Peri menopause is the stage of a woman’s life several years before menopause when ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen.
- Menopause is when a woman’s periods stop altogether.
- Most women experience menopause in their 40s but it can happen at any time.
- Some women sail through menopause with little or no symptoms at all.
- However, 1 in 5 women take time off work to deal with menopausal symptoms, 1 in 50 are on long term sick leave and 10% of women consider giving up work altogether due to the severity of their symptoms!
One in four menopausal women say they don’t get the support they need from their manager. (CIPD)
What this means for employers
As an employer or senior manager, you don’t have to be an expert in menopause. Just like you don’t have to be a medical expert in any other health issue. But what you can do – in order to attract and retain an inclusive workforce, is create an environment where menopause is considered a natural phase in every woman’s life and if a woman needs support in order to do her job, she’s got it.
Ways to support your workforce
Here are five ways you can support the courageous, resilient and extraordinary women in your team:
- Train your managers so they have a clear understanding on the subject and can become confident in supporting colleagues
- Create a policy, wellness agenda or guidance document and publicise it well
- Address any work-related stress by carrying out a stress risk assessment
- Consider making a few reasonable adjustments such as air conditioning, quiet rest areas, flexible working or additional cold drinking water supplies
- Build trust and understanding with regular and informal one to one meetings and encourage meetings with HR and Occupational Health if needed
Women have a wealth of experience and resources to draw upon in order to manage their menopause. They do not view their symptoms as a problem to be managed at work. What they need is a supportive work environment so they can go through this natural translation and retain their position as a valuable part of the team.
Public Practice Recruitment Ltd is a dynamic team of specialist recruiters helping accountancy firms across the UK to source the top talent within the market. We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves, providing the best advice to achieve results.
We’re the experts – always here to help.
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