The average age of menopause in Australia is 51 years and women aged 45-55 years represent a large proportion of the global workforce. As the number of women going through menopause increases and with many of them likely to experience moderate to severe symptoms at work, employers will need to support women to ensure they remain effective and valued employees.
Women at midlife are often highly educated and experienced employees with leadership qualities, who are likely to remain in the workforce for up to another 20 years.
Why is menopause awareness in the workplace important?
Employers must comply with relevant legislation that includes providing a duty of care to their employees and ensures they are free from discrimination. Regulations such as the The Occuptional Health and Safety Act 2004, include a duty to ensure that workplace conditions and environments do not adversely impact on health, which is important as many menopausal women complain that their workplace environment negatively impacts on their health. There have also been a number of legal cases in the UK where women have claimed to be discriminated against due to experiencing symptoms associated with menopause. Cases such as these provide an incentive for employers to be proactive in supporting menopausal women and ensuring that they feel inclusive and respected.
There is also evidence that menopausal women often leave their place of employment when they do not feel supported creating a loss of corporate knowledge and the expense of having to recruit to these positions. Women who do remain in the workplace, but feel unsupported, often experience more sick days and loss of productivity at work.
Workplaces that consider diversity and inclusion perform better, have less turnover of staff and can lead to the promotion of gender equality more broadly. Improving gender equality can also lead to a significant increase in GDP.
Australasian Menopause Society
The Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) is a not-for-profit charity that has been providing menopause education for nearly 40 years. It brings together doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, scientists and researchers to advance knowledge about the menopause, midlife women’s health and healthy ageing. The AMS provides education and develops information and resources for health practitioners and their patients to help manage menopausal symptoms and embed practices to ensure healthy ageing. As a society of experts in menopause management, the AMS is well placed to provide education to the community to assist women to find the support and resources they need to manage the menopausal transition as well as educating workplaces on how they can support menopausal women in the workplace. The AMS has no commercial interests and provides education that is evidence-based and up to date.
Options for Menopause Education