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September 2022  Volume 20, Number 9        
 

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Can Menopause Benefits Create a Happier, More Productive Workforce?

For many years, women in the workforce have ignored what makes them different from their male counterparts to prove they are just as capable.

Slowly, employers realized they needed to support their female workers but limited that support to issues related to fertility and child-rearing. However, this ignores a crucial time in a woman's life — menopause.

This phase of a woman's life can be physically and emotionally challenging. The symptoms of menopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings These symptoms can make it difficult for a woman to focus at work and be productive.

A survey by AARP found that 90% of women feel their work performance suffers during menopause, while a Frost & Sullivan study found that 12% of working women consider their menopause symptoms to be debilitating. The resulting decline in productivity costs businesses an estimated $150 billion an- nually in lost workdays and decreased output.

And it's not a short period in a woman's life — menopause can last, on average, four years and up to 12 years or even longer.

Despite this, most women in the United States don't have access to menopause benefits at work. Only a small percentage of companies offer any kind of support, whether it's flexible work arrangements, discounts on healthcare and menopause products, or simply more education and awareness about the issue. In fact, many employers don't know how to deal with the issue, so they avoid it altogether.

This is a missed opportunity for businesses. As the workforce ages, more women will be going through menopause and they'll be looking for workplaces that understand and support them during this time.

How Employers Can Support Women Going Through Menopause

AARP's study reveals that 31% of women between the ages of 40 and 89 are not provided with information about menopause by any source. This lack of awareness can make it difficult for women to feel comfortable talking about their symptoms and seeking support.

Employers can start by educating them- Employers can start by educating themselves and their employees about menopause, including understanding the causes and symptoms and how they impact work performance. Once everyone is on the same page, it'll be easier to develop policies and benefits that support employees going through menopause.

Destigmatizing menopause in the workplace is also crucial. Many women feel they need to hide their symptoms for fear of being seen as weak or less capable. Through education and awareness campaigns, employers can create an open and supportive environment by normalizing conversations about menopause. This can help employees feel more comfortable discussing their symptoms and seeking help.

Flexible work arrangements can also be helpful. This could mean anything from allowing women to take breaks during the day to working from home on days when they're not feeling their best.

Discounts on menopause products like supplements, skincare, and clothing can also make a big difference. These products can help alleviate some of the symptoms women experience and make them feel more comfortable and confident at work.

Employers should also consider creating a menopause-friendly workplace by creating private, comfortable spaces for women when they experience symptoms.

Finally, employers might consider offering other benefits and resources that support employees during menopause and beyond, including access to mental health resources, wellness programs, and even financial planning support.

Employers can create a more productive and happier workforce by offering these kinds of benefits and support. It would also make the company a more attractive employer for top talent, especially as more women enter leadership roles.

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In this issue:

This Just In ... Survey Finds Changes in Benefits Priorities

Employers Should Beware of Compliance Issues with Abortion Benefits

Removing the Stigma Surrounding Debt Benefits

Can Menopause Benefits Create a Happier, More Productive Workforce?

Proposed Overtime Rule Scheduled for October

 

 


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