A new report by Carrot Fertility recently found that menopause is significantly impacting women’s careers with 80% citing it as a workplace challenge. The report, titled ‘2023 Menopause in the Workplace’, highlights the evident stigma and ageism related to battling menopause in the workplace. About 72% of the women reported feeling uncomfortable after experiencing menopause symptoms at work, and nearly 50% reported experiencing ageism.
- 80% of women, irrespective of their professional sector, find managing menopause symptoms a challenge at work.
- Top interferences reported include loss of concentration (42% U.S.; 56% UK) and lower confidence levels due to menopause stigma (28% UK; 27% U.S.).
- Majority of women (54%) had to shift their work routine to manage their symptoms.
- 79% concealed the real reason when taking time off from work due to menopause.
Despite these glaring statistics, menopause remains a largely untouched subject. Less than 20% of women had a high level of understanding of menopause before their symptoms began, contributing to a significant number of women avoiding medical care for their symptoms.
The Stigma and Ageism Issue
The report also uncovers the discomfort women face in asking their employer for workplace benefits or support to address menopause challenges – a discomfort experienced by 54% of women surveyed. Ageism also played a substantial role, with 47% sharing that they have experienced ageism at work, a number slightly higher for U.S. women at 50%.
This stigma not only affects the physical and mental health of women undergoing menopause but also potentially hinders their career growth. The survey revealed that an average of one-third (31%) of women feel that going through menopause while working will damage their career growth.
The Need for Menopause Support
“Supporting women at work through perimenopause and menopause is an investment in retaining senior talent,” said Tammy Sun, Founder and CEO of Carrot Fertility. “By offering age-inclusive fertility and lifelong hormonal health benefits, employers can keep women at the peak of their careers and foster greater menopause awareness in the workplace. Since we first introduced our menopause support more than a year ago, the majority of Carrot customers have started offering these benefits to their employees, showing promise that the tides are turning towards more menopause support in the workplace.”
The report concludes by emphasizing the critical role of open discussions about menopause. An overwhelming 90% of respondents believe that more public awareness and discussion of menopause and its symptoms will help generate additional support.