Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce, so it’s important now more than ever to be able to speak openly about menopause at work.
PR is a female led industry making up 64% of the workforce yet they hold only 30% of C suite positions (The demographics of the PR Industry | PRCA). Menopause has always been a taboo subject and yet we wonder why women disappear from C-suite roles.
Menopause can affect a woman’s working life significantly so it’s about time we take stock and demystify the stigma surrounding it. Creating an open and supportive culture in the workplace is a good place to start. Here are some ways to make it easier for women to stay at work during this significant milestone in their lives.
- Educate Managers – Businesses should be able to recognise when support is needed and facilitate open conversations with employees about what they’re experiencing. Menopause shouldn’t be a taboo, and everyone should feel confident to have a conversation with their line manager, especially when they need guidance and advice. Signalling that you’re open to having the discussion is the first step so Managers need to be provided with the right tools to support their staff.
- Communicate – open cultures need to be created where women feel comfortable to say they’re struggling with symptoms. Internal campaigns or webinars for staff are a great way to do this, enabling and starting a conversation for people. External speakers are a great way to engage people.
- Menopause Policy – Policies also need to be updated to reflect menopause – it needs to be included in sickness and flexible working policies to take into account symptoms such as night sweats and insomnia. Companies must be flexible to their teams’ needs to make sure they’re performing to a high standard and getting the best productivity and engagement from them. Alongside your menopause policy you could consider creating a guide specifically for managers. And make sure menopause is incorporated within your inclusion training and is an integral part of any learning around health and wellbeing. Raising awareness at every opportunity will help make menopause an everyday topic.
- Work with your Healthcare provider / Occupational Health / HR to provide a virtual GP service and mental health helplines to get support on a range of symptoms at anytime from anywhere.
- Finally, keep the conversation going! Awareness, discussion and education will bring the change that we need to see.