Menopause is not a women’s issue, at work or anywhere else

Posted by ap507 at Sep 22, 2017 09:41 AM |
In an article for HRZone, Professor Jo Brewis, Dr Andrea Davies and Dr Jesse Matheson from the School of Business discuss the menopause transition on women’s economic participation

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In a recent contribution to Academics Corner, Laura Doering and Sarah Thebaud write: “Despite persistent diversity initiatives and an ever-growing sense of inclusion and tolerance in the workplace, research suggests that gender stereotypes still disadvantage women at work”.

Having undertaken a government research project on the impact of the menopause transition on women’s economic participation - i.e. working outside the home - in the UK, we couldn’t agree more.

Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when her periods stop for good. It is a normal biological phenomenon which all women experience. Menopause transition is the ‘run up’, as it were, to menopause itself.

The Stages of Reproductive Health Workshop defines transition as characterised by changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle and her menstrual difficulty concentrating or remembering things, mood swings, hot flushes and night sweats.

Women also have very different experiences of transition. Some find it easy to cope with, whereas others endure more challenging symptoms. About 25% of women have very debilitating symptoms indeed.

Official government statistics tell us that more and more women are working now, and that they are retiring later in life. Something of the order of 75% of women over 50 are employed outside the home in the UK.

In turn, this means many more women will experience menopause transition whilst they are working, a demographic trend which shows no sign of slowing down...

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