Employers are at risk of losing workers due to a lack of menopause accommodations

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As a 44-year-old woman in perimenopause who works from home, I’m currently writing this article with my air conditioning cranked down to 68 degrees, my office ceiling fan on high, and a small fan under my desk pointed directly at me. I’m also wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

I am able to make my workspace feel like the arctic—and tolerate my constant hot flashes—because I work from home. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if I worked in-person at an office.

Many women who’ve had the option of remote work these past couple of years have had the same revelation. After the pandemic, many women face the difficult decision of switching jobs.

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A new survey has found that nearly half of women aged 40-55 have thought about leaving the office to look for remote jobs in order to better manage their menopause symptoms.

79% of the 1,000 women interviewed said it was difficult to work during menopause, more so than any other stages in life, such as starting a job, starting a family, and getting promoted. Respondents ranked their 50s first when asked about the most difficult decade for working in the workplace. This was well ahead of the second-ranked 20s. 

Despite the fact that women make up half the workforce—and 20 percent of those women are between the ages of 45 and 54—most employers are risking the loss of high-level talent because they are not accommodating women experiencing menopause symptoms.

Home is the Better Option

A new survey commissioned by fertility benefits company Carrot found that 47% of the 1,000 female respondents—who were either in perimenopause or menopause, or had been in the last five years—would consider Remote or hybrid work is an option for women experiencing menopause symptoms..

What’s more, almost a third of the women surveyed said they would think about transitioning from full-time to part-time work because of menopause symptoms. 22 percent said they would be open to retiring earlier.

A UK study found that 18% women experiencing menopause consider quitting their jobs.

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These results aren’t just about the temperature of the office thermostat. Problems at work can include mood swings, sleep loss, brain fog, and other symptoms.

Patients share their stories with each other constantly Menopause symptoms can impact their careers and relationships. because they’re exhausted, emotional, and responding to situations inappropriately, wrote Dr. Monica Christmas, director of the Center for Women’s Integrated Health at the University of Chicago Medicine in The New York Times.

Employer Benefits & Perks rarely Consider Menopause

In a survey of 2,500 women, Gennev found that 99% of women in their menopause age group believed they were able to cope with the changes. don’t get any menopause benefitsat work. Carrot also revealed that almost 25% of respondents had taken time from work due to their menopause symptoms but kept this secret from their employers.

These numbers show that employers should accommodate workers in this age bracket as it can be very costly to replace them.

“A lot of the most skilled and most valuable women who are leaders are in this group and the replacement costs for those leaders is much higher than average,” Carrot CEO Tammy Sun told Bloomberg.

Slow changes

There are some companies and governments that recognize this issue as a problem for senior leaders, with more mature female workers than ever before. In the United States, however, it is not often discussed about the role of menopausal women at work.

British consultant Nicola Green—who advises employers on how to support their female workers going through menopause—names efforts as simple as providing free menstrual products in the bathroom and access to cold drinking water as ways to start accommodating menopause symptoms and retaining senior talent.

She says that giving remote work options or flexible hours to female workers is the best way for them to be supported in this stage of their lives and to keep them on staff.

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