October is Menopause Awareness Month, with 18 October designated as ‘World Menopause Day’ and this year’s theme being ‘Cognition and Mood’.
The menopause is a natural stage of life that affects all women. Medically speaking, it is where a woman ceases to ovulate and their periods eventually stop, caused by a change in hormone levels. According to the NHS, the average age that women experience the menopause in the UK is 51, and symptoms can vary widely – with the most common being hot flushes, sleep disturbances, night sweats – and the menopause can often be perceived in a negative way. It is this way of thinking that needs to be challenged, especially in the workplace, where women can feel overlooked, embarrassed or struggle long term.
The Office of National Statistics stated that in 2021 there were approximately four million women, aged between 45-55 in employment and according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD),‘six in ten menopausal women say their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work.’ That is a huge proportion of the workforce that require extra support.
By putting the wellbeing of menopausal employees at the fore and creating a menopause-friendly workplace, companies could reap the benefits of a happier and more varied workforce, a better retention of staff, and a company with an ethos of inclusivity.
For information on how the UoB is addressing these needs and how to become a UoB Menopause Ally, please visit https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/collaboration/equality/staff/policies-and-initiatives-for-staff/menopause/index.aspx
Plus for some free events locally in support of Menopause Awareness Month, go to https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com/latest-news/news/2022/9/30/free-events-in-support-of-menopause-awareness-month/