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Half of women still feel stigma of talking about menopause at work

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A new report commissioned by Vodafone found 50% of women experiencing menopause symptoms at work feel there is a stigma attached to talking about it, prompting a third (33%) to hide how they’re feeling.

This is despite the fact that a majority (62%) of those asked said that symptoms impact them at work.

On International Women’s Day, the research is calling for more workplace support for women going through menopause – two-thirds (64%) of respondents agreed that employers should do more to help.

 

In response Vodafone has committed to raising awareness about the challenges of menopause and providing its employees with more support, assistance and training.

HR director Clare Corkish said: “We recognise the significant impact that the menopause can have on women and understand how important it is that they feel fully supported in the workplace.  

“We hope our new commitment and awareness training will create an environment where women feel encouraged to seek the support they need and are comfortable to talk openly about what they are going through.”

Menopause concerns rise the most in those aged 18 to 44 as 63% in this age group said they have felt too embarrassed to ask for support at work, compared to 43% of women overall.

Vodafone estimated that around 15% of its 100,000 employees will be experiencing menopause at the moment. This is affecting all levels of the organisation, with 31% of its management and leadership roles currently occupied by women, a proportion which is targeted to rise to 40% by 2030.


How HR can support women going through the menopause:

Five steps to improve menopause support

Talking about menopause in the workplace should be the norm

Is flexible working for menopausal women a step too far?

 


 

Vodafone chief human resources officer Leanne Wood said: “With menopause impacting women for a significant period of their working life, it’s important to us that our environment supports and normalises these life stages by openly talking about and supporting menopause in the workplace.”

Vodafone’s menopause at work research was conducted by Opinium between 23 February and 4 March 2021. Data is based on a sample size of 5,012 people in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and South Africa who have gone through menopause at work.