Women make up almost half of the U.S. workforce, and over 40% of working women are age 45 or older. Since most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, women in the menopause transition represent a large, and growing, segment of the workforce.
Impact on Women in the Workforce
A recent survey of more than 1,000 working women found that 40% of women age 50 to 65 years old stated that menopause symptoms interfered with their work performance or productivity on a weekly basis.
Each woman’s experience with menopause is unique. Symptoms vary in severity, duration and impact as well as across race and ethnicity. A woman may experience many symptoms as she transitions into menopause. For many women these symptoms last around seven years, but some women experience symptoms for up to 14 years or longer.
Best Practice Interventions
There are many interventions that can improve both quality of life and the symptoms women experience because of menopause. First and foremost, education and awareness about menopause and the impacts it can have on a woman’s daily life and long-term health is important. Education is also essential to ensure that women are aware of the available treatment options and to clarify their preferences so they can make informed decisions. Read more about interventions in the full issue brief.
A Call to Action for Employers
With an aging workforce, it’s becoming increasingly vital for employers to create a supportive workplace that recognizes and normalizes this stage of life.
Menopause takes place when many women have reached the peak of their careers and when they are likely in leadership positions, and severe menopause symptoms can disrupt a woman’s career and her ability to continue and advance in her role.
Given that employee retention — especially of experienced workers — is a priority for employers, there is a tremendous urgency and opportunity for employers to act.
Read the full issue brief, sponsored by Astellas, to learn more about the effects of menopause, interventions available and other considerations.