Half of working women experiencing the menopause think about leaving employment completely, a new study has found.
Research by Royal London discovered that 86% of female employees are finding work harder due to menopausal symptoms, while one in three (34%) say the menopause is among the health reasons causing them to retire in their late 50s and around 6.7 years earlier than planned.
Clare Moffat, pensions expert at Royal London, said: “It’s clear that many employers are losing key employees because of a lack of menopause support. Women are suddenly questioning themselves and their abilities and the lack of support and understanding in the workplace is causing them to leave work in their droves.
“But with more support for women the menopause talent drain can be addressed stemming the tide of women who feel they have to leave the world of work and reducing health-related economic inactivity, a significant issue impacting workers over 50 in the UK.”
The survey of around 3,000 adults in the UK also found that around eight in 10 (82%) of menopausal women say that would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they were better supported, which Moffat believes is encouraging. However, she wanted that many are uncomfortable talking about their experiences with line managers.
Moffat added: “Only a third of women going through the menopause would be willing to speak to a male manager about the menopause for example compared to three-quarters of women who would speak to a female boss.
“Almost a million women are leaving their job because of menopausal symptoms, which is having a huge impact on their retirement. Quite apart from the loss of income, women miss out on important pension savings at a key stage in their life, resulting in them being up to £126,000 worse off in retirement.
“Improving how women experiencing the menopause are accommodated in the workplace should be a priority for employers. Managers need to better understand menopause and how they can support employees. Creating a supportive workplace environment and signposting effective menopause support will help employees and ensure the economy benefits too.”