Tackling a variety of issues is an essential part of every business operation across the world. However, some of those issues are still being considered as taboo and are essentially being ignored. One of those issues is menopause and the way it affects women at the workplace.
Statistics show that only 3% of the UK companies have educated their workforce about this and are actually counteracting the negative effects this may have on female workers.
Currently in the UK there are over 3.5 million women who are over 50 and are employed. The difference in the employment rate of female workers in comparison to males in the North East is only 6%, which means that there are almost as much women as men in work. Menopause will affect all of those workers and it is important for an employer to know the correct way to address them.
Although employers have been slow to recognize that female employees undergoing menopause might need special consideration, the topic is now picking up in popularity and it is being addressed more often. Research has found that if the issue is not discussed in the workplace, women are more likely not to report their symptoms and often the reason for their decreased performance remains a mystery.
However, as the topic is no longer considered a taboo, thanks to a small number of professionals who are dedicated in raising awareness, a lot of people are paying attention to it and trying to come up with new and innovative ways to improve the lives of working women who experience symptoms of menopause.
One of those new innovations is “Grace”, a concept bracelet aimed at combating hot flushes. These hot flushes are a major symptom of menopause. The bracelet uses sensors to track signals of an upcoming hot flush and when it activates it applies a cooling tile that should relieve the effects of a flush. Grace received an award for being the winner of AXA’s Per-Menopause challenge.
It is important to note that female employees don’t necessarily need a special bracelet in order to reduce the strength of the symptoms. Simple improvements, such as access to a window or a desk fan can improve the working conditions greatly.
It is a topic that must be addressed, especially now when half of the workforce is female. It will become more and more popular and an employer who is prepared to deal with the issue should reap the benefits of having a happier workforce.
Attend this free event dedicated to educating employers about the menopause:
To educate further on the issue, Sharon MacArthur (Miss Menopause) is hosting an interactive workshop dedicated to educating employers about the menopause syndromes. The free event, targeted at HR professionals, business owners and managers is hosted by Sharon MacArthur and will take place at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in July.
About the author:
My name is Georg Lazarov. I’m originally from Sofia, Bulgaria and came to the UK to study. I’m an intern at the BIC and absolutely love it here. There’s a certain dose of motivation and dedication that simply radiates from my colleagues and ultimately it transfers to me. I’m currently in the third, and luckily final, year of my journalism course at the University of Sunderland. Part of being a trainee-journalist involves being absolutely aware what’s going on in the world at all times. As part of my work experience I came across a very interesting issue — the difficulties employed women face during the menopause. The fact that menopause is still considered a taboo subject astonishes me, this is why I wrote this blog. I believe that with simple improvements a lot of people’s lives could be affected positively.