Is 2018 shaping up to be the year in which the people factor sits firmly at the top of the business agenda? Certainly if our first two articles of this year are anything to go by, it might well be the case. Last time out in our article “taking care of your people” we looked at the effects of the flu crisis and the importance of helping people to stay safe. Now we are moving on to examine another important aspect of people care, supporting employees who are experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Our article has been prompted by BBC research which revealed that although 44% of those surveyed reported that the menopause affected their mood and mental health, 70% of women didn’t make their employer aware that they were experiencing symptoms. These can include mood swings, irritability, disturbed sleep, anxiety, memory lapses and depression; all factors which could impact on an individual’s ability to perform to the best of their ability. Importantly, all of these effects are in the majority of cases transitory; both fluctuating over time and lessening as the body’s hormone production regains a new equilibrium. All the more tragic therefore that a study in 2017 revealed that 25% of women considered leaving their work because of the effects of the menopause.
A Government review in 2017 makes a number of recommendations for employers including developing a more supportive organisational culture, improving equality and diversity training and providing practical support such as offering flexible working arrangements. Over recent times great strides have been made in opening up conversations and approach for a range of factors including mental health and pregnancy. As the BBC report comments the menopause is still a silent issue for too many organisations; it is time for change.