"I’ve decided to spend my time focussing more on understanding what my boundaries are and protecting my boundaries as I know this will have an impact on how I feel everyday."
How would you react if there was a health issue that affected millions of workers, but nobody —not the companies they work for, not the government, not health insurers—offered any help?
For the 3.5 million working women over the age of 50 in the UK, this negligence is an unwelcome reality. This is because the vast majority of workplaces offer little to no menopause support, even as its symptoms wreak havoc on their employees’ physical and emotional health, impacting their wellbeing at work and in some cases, even causing them to abandon their roles altogether.
One study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 59% of women between the ages of 45 and 55 experiencing menopause symptoms say it negatively impacts their work. Around 30% of these women have taken time off work due to their symptoms, and an unnerving 10% of women have actually quit their jobs due to them. Companies can no longer ignore this group of workers, who increasingly are occupying positions of power in the corporate sector, and who make up a large part of some of our most important social industries (women account for 77% of the NHS workforce, for example).
So how can employers make a change to support their employees and prevent a significant loss of talent? There are several companies offering menopause benefits, including Syrona, which has partnered with corporates. The CIPD has created new guidance on managing menopause at work, which includes offering flexible working times to accommodate disturbed sleeping patterns, providing a desk fan to help with hot flushes, and allowing regular breaks for comfort. Guidances like these are a helpful start and a positive indication that government bodies are starting to recognise the importance of addressing menopause at work. Yet the full breadth of menopause benefits is only just beginning to be explored.
Syrona is at the forefront of gynaecological health benefits, offering healthcare solutions that aren’t typically covered by private medical insurance.
In addition to support for endometriosis, PCOS, fertility and mental health, we also offer menopause management for the workplace. These include HRT prescriptions where relevant, access to CBT therapy , nutrition advice to reduce menopausal symptoms, pelvic physiotherapy and exercises that you can do at home. Syrona’s solutions look at holistic care for Menopause, delivered virtually. Providing these healthcare solutions to employees sends a clear message that they are seen and heard, and that they shouldn’t feel ashamed of their gynae health needs.
Menopause benefits can look like one-on-one consultations with counselors or specialists, increased paid sick leave, flexible working, and access to fans and cool rooms. Importantly, they also look like an effort by employers to break down taboos surrounding menopause that contribute to the sense of embarrassment and an unwillingness to address symptoms at work. In that sense, menopause benefits also involve educating employees on what menopause is and how it can affect their co-workers, who not only include women but also trans and non-binary colleagues.
As companies continue to focus on employee wellbeing, offering a wide range of health benefits is pivotal in retaining talent. Introducing menopause benefits is just one way to preserve some of your most skilled and experienced workers.