Menopausal women say they are unsupported at work. Here’s how employers can step up

Menopausal women say they are unsupported at work. Here’s how employers can step up
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Menopausal women say they are unsupported at work. Here’s how employers can step up  Fortune

Menopausal women say they are unsupported at work. Here’s how employers can step up

Over a Million Women Face Challenges at Work Due to Menopause Symptoms

Each year in the U.S., over a million women reach menopause, with approximately 6,000 women becoming menopausal every day. However, many women lack education about menopause and are unprepared for its impact on their personal and professional lives.

The Menopause in the Workplace Survey

The second annual Menopause in the Workplace Survey conducted by Carrot Fertility, a fertility care platform, revealed that the majority of women surveyed face challenges at work due to menopause symptoms and feel unable to discuss them openly. Moreover, they fear that their employers will perceive them as less efficient. This survey, exclusively shared with Fortune, highlights the daily challenges experienced by aging women related to menopause and the enduring stigma surrounding it.

Tammy Sun, CEO and founder of Carrot Fertility, emphasizes the need for comprehensive healthcare support for women in their post-reproductive age, as they often hold crucial managerial and leadership roles within organizations.

Survey Findings

  1. 80% of the 2,000 working American and British women surveyed who are in perimenopause or menopause reported that managing symptoms at work is a challenge.
  2. 72% of respondents feel uncomfortable or self-conscious at work when experiencing symptoms like brain fog.
  3. About one-third of women, particularly women of color, expressed concerns about how their menopause symptoms could impact their career growth.

Tammy Sun states, “We can now see and prove that people in their post-reproductive journeys bear a disproportionate burden.”

Ageism and Fear of Speaking Up

Besides coping with unpredictable symptoms, older women in the workforce do not feel supported by their employers. The majority of women surveyed who had to take time off work due to menopause did not disclose the reason to their employer. The survey identified the following reasons why women hesitate to seek support for managing menopause at work:

  • Perception of being unable to work at the same caliber
  • Stigma surrounding menopause
  • Uncertainty about who could provide assistance

This situation contributes to a broader crisis of confidence for women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers. Experts suggest that shifting the narratives around aging could help alleviate this crisis.

The survey also revealed that ageism plays a significant role in the silence surrounding menopause in the workplace. Nearly half (47%) of the women surveyed reported experiencing ageism at work. Older workers who face age discrimination often feel compelled to work harder to prove themselves and avoid job loss.

A 2020 University of Michigan national poll on healthy aging found that women constitute a significant portion of the 40% of adults who frequently experience three or more forms of ageism in their daily lives, including ageist messaging and interpersonal reactions.

Employers’ Responsibility

Tammy Sun argues that just as employee-sponsored fertility benefits and accommodations are becoming more prevalent, similar options should be available for menopause care. She suggests that workplace policies supporting individuals going through menopause align with employers’ search for flexible solutions. Including post-reproductive, age-inclusive fertility benefits is an essential step that sends a powerful message to employees.

Possible benefits could include access to platforms providing support groups, resources, trained nurses, and ob-gyns.

Sun emphasizes, “Women of every age have equal value and deserve high-quality healthcare throughout their entire lives.”

The survey also indicated that women desire more flexibility and support. Over half of the women surveyed believe that changing their work routine, such as having flexible or reduced hours, could help. Additionally, 90% of the women expressed that public awareness and discussions about menopause would provide valuable support.

Tammy Sun concludes, “These women are speaking up. The data clearly shows it. There is much more open conversation happening around this topic today than there was 12 months ago, and 12 months before that, and 12 months before that.”

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being – Percentage of women who feel uncomfortable or self-conscious at work due to menopause symptoms
– Percentage of women who face challenges managing menopause symptoms at work
SDG 5: Gender Equality Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere – Percentage of women who face ageism at work
– Percentage of women who fear how menopause symptoms could impact their career growth
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value – Percentage of women who feel protected by their employers when dealing with menopause symptoms at work
– Percentage of women who have access to menopause care benefits in the workplace
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies, and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies, and action in this regard – Percentage of women of color who fear how menopause symptoms could impact their career growth

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: fortune.com


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