The menopause is a relatively hidden aspect of the gender pay gap.
If you have fewer, senior, older women in the workplace then you won’t have had to worry too much about this topic, yet. But now women over 50 are the fastest-growing cohort of employees.
100% of women go through the menopause. 80% of women who transition through menopause are impacted with temporary psychological and physical symptoms. Without the right support, these symptoms can temporarily affect their ability to maintain normal performance at work. It’s at this point that we lose many talented women in the workplace; and this is evidenced in organisations’ gender paygaps.
We rightly afford pregnant women the support they need to manage the side effects of pregnancy; so why shouldn’t this be the status quo for women going through menopause? Simple changes, such as a designated room for women to take five minutes out, or flexibility to work from home, would make the world of difference. But the first step is talking about it. Businesses need to increase understanding throughout their organisations.
One of the steps we’re taking at KPMG in the region is bringing in outside experts to talk about the topic to staff. By making it clear that we’re supporting women through this stage of their lives – as we would with any other health issue – we hope to retain and encourage more senior female leaders.