Menopause in the workplace, with Bupa
Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce, but symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and brain fog force many out of the workplace altogether.
We speak to Alaana Woods from Bupa Health Clinics about what can be done to support women and how to hold onto this experienced part of the workforce.
Menopause in the workplace
Research from Bupa Health Clinics shows that there are nine million menopausal women (aged 40-60) in the UK. In the workplace, these women are at the top of their game, with a wealth of experience to contribute. But without the right support during the menopause, they may be unable to reach their full potential.
While menopause is a natural stage of life, the symptoms of declining estrogen levels can cause life-disrupting symptoms; from increased anxiety to poor memory and difficulty concentrating. Women may also experience hot flushes, find their sleep disrupted (leaving them exhausted at their desks) or that they need to make more frequent trips to the bathroom throughout the day. These symptoms can negatively affect performance at work, dampen confidence and even force wellqualified women out of the workplace entirely.
Of those women who do continue working, many are forced to take long-term absences from work to manage symptoms. “On average, menopausal symptoms result in 32 weeks of leave throughout a woman’s career,’ says Alaana Woods, Commercial Director at Bupa Health Clinics.
“We’re suffering breaks in talent pipelines: gender diversity is a boardroom priority – yet at the point women make it to this level, they’re likely to experience a physiological change and we lose them. This is a business issue, not a women’s issue and we need men to lean into this agenda with us.”
How businesses can help
It’s time to put menopause at the top of the business agenda and address the taboo. Businesses that do so will attract and retain strong female talent. Alaana Woods
explains how businesses can do this:
- Our research found that a third of women (33%) were embarrassed speaking to their employer about menopausal symptoms. More education should be provided for managers and line managers to have these all-important conversations.
- Menopause shouldn’t be a taboo, and everyone should feel confident to have a conversation with their manager, especially when they need help and advice. We also need to create open cultures where women feel comfortable to say they’re struggling with symptoms. Internal campaigns or webinars for staff are a great way to start the conversation.
- Finally, businesses should invest in services that support women. I am so proud that Bupa Health Clinics has launched our new service, Menopause Plan, to give women an hour, either over the phone, via video call or face-to-face with a menopause-trained GP.
What does the Bupa Menopause Plan include?
- A pre-appointment questionnaire and symptom checker.
- 45 minutes with a GP specially trained in menopause care.
- A bespoke care plan to follow based around your needs.
- A 15-minute follow-up appointment with the same GP.
- 24/7 menopause support from Bupa nurses, via the Anytime HealthLine.
You don’t need medical insurance, our plan is pay-as-you-go and costs £250. To book the full plan and ongoing support for 12 months, call the Bupa Bookings Team now on 0333 637419 or go to bupa.co.uk/menopause-plan.
For businesses looking to offer the Bupa Menopause Plan to their employees, call the Bupa Bookings Team on 0370 2185928.