Today is World Menopause Day 2023 and the importance of supporting female staff during their menopausal journey has officially taken centre stage. The impact of menopausal symptoms on work can be significant, and employers are urged to provide the necessary support to empower their workforce.
Here, we discuss the rising demand for menopause support, its impact on employees, and why companies should take action. Additionally, we explore the trends and predictions emerging in the workplace in relation to menopause.
The Rising Demand for Menopause Support
Over the past year, RedArc, a nurse-led health and wellbeing support service, has witnessed a substantial increase in requests for menopause support. Many women are seeking reliable information and a supportive ear to help them manage their symptoms effectively. Christine Husbands, Commercial Director at RedArc, notes,
Menopause awareness is certainly higher than it’s ever been which can only be a good thing for women, many of whom had previously suffered their symptoms in silence or embarrassment.
Christine Husbands, Commercial Director at RedArc
RedArc provides support not only for typical menopause symptoms but also for those triggered by cancer treatment, highlighting the need for specific support. With over 30 different menopausal symptoms, including anxiety and fertility loss, the demand for information and remedies is soaring. HRT can alleviate symptoms, but it doesn’t always eliminate them entirely, making symptom management crucial.
Christine Husbands emphasises the need for reliable, medically-based support:
Women need to know that the support they are accessing is clinically correct and tailored to their needs.
Supporting Employees in the Workplace
Debra Clark, Head of Wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, encourages workplaces to introduce specific support for menopause. While discussions about menopause are becoming more common, it is essential to educate employees about the symptoms and issues associated with it. Employers should also include younger women and men in these conversations to foster a more supportive work environment.
Forward-thinking companies not only educate but also proactively support their staff. Support is available through health and protection programs, mental health services, and employee assistance programs, addressing the psychological and emotional impact of menopause. Specific symptoms, such as cardiovascular changes associated with menopause, may require special attention.
We would encourage employers to talk to an adviser who can give guidance on the latest developments and the most appropriate options for support in their organisation.
Debra Clark, Head of Wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection
Hidden Support in Employee Benefits
According to GRiD, even if employers do not have a dedicated menopause support provider, they may unknowingly have support available through employee benefits. Many group risk benefits now offer access to virtual GPs, EAPs for anxiety, and wellness apps that can benefit those experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, advises employers to explore their existing employee benefits to create a suite of support for menopausal employees without incurring additional costs. She also underscores the importance of clear communication to ensure staff understands the available support.
Future Trends and Predictions
Looking forward, companies should consider making reasonable workplace adjustments to accommodate women dealing with menopausal symptoms. Just as they would for individuals dealing with health-related issues, employers can use vocational rehabilitation services included within group risk benefits to help employees stay at work and reduce absenteeism.
World Menopause Day on October 18, 2023 is about placing a spotlight on supporting women during this significant phase of life. The rising demand for menopause support, the imperative for workplace assistance, and the hidden resources within employee benefits signal a growing commitment to empowering women in the workplace.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.