Aug 14, 2023 | Nationwide News

Irish workplaces are facing “an exodus” of female employees after research reveals that the vast majority of menopausal women are not getting the help and support they may need to keep them in their jobs.

Just over 36% of respondents in a poll of over 1,000 women said they have been forced to call in sick on account of ‘devastating’ symptoms; 81% who took part in the ‘Menopause in the Workplace Survey 2022’ said they didn’t feel comfortable discussing the issue with their employer.

Researchers also found that 38.4% of women who took part in the survey said they were considering quitting their jobs because of menopause, while 11% said they were forced to abandon their careers after being overwhelmed by symptoms – which can include insomnia, anxiety, migraines, brain fog and fatigue.

The online survey of 1,087 women was carried out by The Menopause Hub – the first clinic in Ireland solely devoted to helping women through the menopause. Chief Executive Loretta Dignam said the results showed employers needed to do much more to keep the growing number of female workers going through the menopause in employment.

“The solution to supporting menopausal women is through reasonable accommodations and adjustments. Under current health and safety legislation, a failure to support menopausal women in the workplace is simply not acceptable anymore,” she noted. 

Dignam, who provides training courses for several firms including ESB, Indeed, Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, Dublin Bus and Kellogg’s, said all employers should have a menopause policy to encourage female employees to discuss the issue with managers.

Based in Dublin’s Mount Merrion, the Menopause Hub has treated more than 6,000 women since opening in January 2019. “As our survey showed, three years on, the menopause has remained a taboo subject in workplaces across Ireland,” she said.

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