20 Sep 2018

Why We Need to Talk About Menopause in the Workplace

Last week was a really quite exciting week at SuperHuman.  On a blustery Wednesday lunchtime we shared tapas in the basement of a Soho eatery with the ‘high priestess of gender balance’ and author of Why Women Mean Business,  Avivah Wittenberg-Cox.  Discussion, like the menu, was open, rich and varied but Avivah’s comments on our recent SuperHuman menopause research, Menopause: Pause For Thought and on the topic of work, in particular, was refreshingly positive.

Our report identified that whilst middle-aged women are running countries and major banks, over half (52%), said that the menopause impacted on their work and career with only a staggering (10%) saying that their employer was sympathetic.

A Government report by Dr Ros Altmann echoed these findings stating that although this is common and universal life-stage, there is little support in the workplace. Younger male (or even female) line managers have no training in handling such matters. When it comes to handling stress, depression and pregnancy, there is openness and support, but not as such for older women.

As bleak as these findings are, Avivah pointed out that whilst many find the menopause a battle, especially at work, it also can be the start of a new exciting chapter in a woman’s working life.  In middle age, many women’s work and financial clout may be simultaneously growing when the pull of caring for children suddenly disappears.   She says, “many women are thrilled and energised by the sudden freedom of late careers something that may have eluded them earlier on.”

SuperHuman’s findings support her thinking with the middle menopausal years, for many, representing a time of change and reflection.  Over two thirds (67%) of women felt they were either more ambitious than ten years ago and indeed than ever before at this point in their life.

When most life-stages are celebrated as a marketing opportunity it begs the question why not this untapped universal life-stage?  This audience is more affluent and educated than ever before. Whether she is struggling with the menopause or setting off for adventure she has a need that clever brands can facilitate.

If you’d like to find out more about SuperHuman’s Menopause report, and how SuperHuman can help you engage your audience around this important topic, get in touch here.

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