Menopause… empower women to stay in the jobs they love
18 October 2023
It’s the time of year when we focus on the menopause. In truth, we should focus on it every day of the year. 8/10 menopausal women are in work, and we have a responsibility to provide the support they need. 10% of women leave work because of the menopause - before they’re financially, emotionally, or mentally ready. You can prevent the loss of talented women in your business by providing the proper support. Read on to discover how.
The International Menopause Society (IMS) works tirelessly to raise awareness of the menopause, the debilitating impact it can have on women, and why we need to talk about it. Like many ‘women’s issues’, it’s long been something not openly discussed, especially in the workplace.
It’s easy to see how it happened – especially in the UK.
The workplace was once a predominantly male arena. We’re a nation that took pride in having a ‘stiff upper lip’, and certain things ‘just weren’t talked about’…
We’ve moved on - a lot.
Still, certain stigmas remain, especially regarding the menopause, also known as ‘the change.’
Whilst we don’t advocate using that phrase, the menopause is a change. A physical, mental, biological, emotional, lifestyle, and personal transition - the next phase of ageing. The female body goes through many changes, each requiring a period of adaptation, which alone impacts mental wellbeing.
The transition into a new stage of life aside, the menopause impacts female physical health, and each year, the IMS uses October to bring them to life, as listed below:
2015: Menopause and the Aging Brain
2016: Heart Health Matters
2017: Perimenopausal Bleeding
2018: Sexual Wellbeing after Menopause
2019: Testosterone for Women at Midlife
2020: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency
2021: Bone Health
2022: Cognition and Mood
For 2023, the focus is on cardiovascular disease.
“Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for women across the developed and developing world.” IMS
IMS has published a white paper - Reproductive milestones across the lifespan and cardiovascular disease risk in women – which includes a link between menopause and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The menopause isn't a lifestyle choice...
“Menopause is a universal event for reproductively competent persons born with ovaries who live long enough.” IMS
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term for a condition that impacts the heart or blood vessels. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and unhealthy eating, increase the risk of CVD – but these are choices. Something that a person can change.
Menopause is a ‘universal event’ usually occurring between the ages of 44 and 55 (NHS), and perimenopause (early menopause) can begin when a woman is in her thirties. The journey will be different for everyone; some women suffering more severe symptoms than others. It can’t be prevented, delayed, or cured, but can be supported and treated.
Empowering women to stay in the jobs they love!
We can agree that nobody benefits from remaining silent about the menopause.
If menopause generally starts at 45 and ends at 55, as suggested by the NHS, some women may feel the effects of the menopause for approx. ten years.
The average age for women to retire in the UK is 64 (Indeed), which means that most women plan to or need to work for almost a decade after their menopause finishes. Yet, for 10%, the menopause ends their careers early.
This doesn’t have to happen.
Introducing dedicated menopause counsellors
We’re thrilled to announce that our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) now includes a dedicated Menopause Support Service.
Did you know that the menopause has approximately forty different symptoms that cause discomfort or embarrassment?
Our Menopause Mentors know this, and many of them have experienced them.
There’s no better way to give women the confidence to speak honestly than by connecting with someone who understands what they’re going through and has been through it themselves.
You can retain your talent, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity.
Available through our Employee Assistance Programme, with dedicated Menopause Support, you’ll give your employees access to:
Accredited, menopause-specific counsellors and mentors.
Corporate menopause awareness training for employees and managers.
One-to-one support and group sessions.
Help creating a Menopause Network within your business.
Your employees can access our Menopause Support Service the same way they can reach any of our BACP-accredited counsellors – by phone, email or via our app, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the call requires the support of our Menopause Mentors, our EAP team creates a referral, and once accepted, a menopause mentor schedules the first appointment.
From there, they'll create a support plan unique to your employee’s requirements, ensuring they have all the help they need to continue to thrive during the menopause.
Let’s not forget about men...
The menopause is indeed a female-dominated topic. Men experience the andropause, often called the ‘male menopause’ – and it’s essential to bring attention to how this impacts them.
However, we must be mindful that the andropause isn’t the same biological experience as the menopause.
“This label [Male Menopause] is misleading because it suggests the symptoms are the result of a sudden drop in testosterone in middle age, similar to what occurs in the female menopause. This is not true.” (NHS England)
Andropause occurs in men in their late 40s to early 50s when testosterone levels drop, causing physical and emotional changes. Statistics show that men are less likely to seek support for mental-health-related issues. That’s why removing the stigma and breaking down barriers is vital.
Our BACP-accredited counsellors are available to help men struggling with the andropause – and any other issue they need support with.
Empower employees to thrive with Pluxee UK
Women should not be forced to leave work because of menopause, and you shouldn’t lose top talent, loyal workers, or future leaders.
The menopause is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be detrimental. With Pluxee UK as your partner, you can create an environment of trust, equality, and wellbeing.
Arrange a call to empower your people and business to thrive.