According to a Wellbeing of Women survey in 2016, menopause can be so severe that it results in women leaving their jobs; with one in four considering it.
In collaboration with Britain’s Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC), Standard Chartered Bank, on 19 May, announced its intention to research how menopause transition affects women working in financial services and their progression to senior roles.
According to the UK government’s statistics, menopausal women are the fastest growing workforce demographic. Approximately 13% of the UK workforce is women over 50, based on the Office of National Statistics’s (ONS) numbers.
That’s more than 130,000 women in the financial services having to go through the biological process, which can last up to eight years, at any one point of their careers. And, more often than not, it coincides with the point at which they have the opportunity to attain a critical senior management role.
“Menopause is,” Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head of Human Resources at Standard Chartered, shared, “a significant topic that currently isn’t considered a workplace issue. However, it’s an area of wellbeing that needs attention.”
Kapilashrami’s concerns hold true because, according to a Wellbeing of Women survey in 2016, menopause can be so severe that it results in women leaving their jobs; with one in four considering to do so.
She thus opined that this research will prove beneficial to fully understand the impact of menopause on the talent pipeline, and to deal with this challenge as an industry.
Claire Tunley, Chief Executive at the Financial Services Skills Commission, said: “For too long menopause has been a taboo subject with many women suffering in silence.
“The research announced today will start to break this trend and shine a light on the challenges women experiencing menopause face in the workplace, so the industry is better prepared to support and retain skilled employees and further strengthen the talent pipeline for the long term.”
The research will approach menopause transition from five angles:
- To what extent is menopause transition a problem for women in the talent pipeline within financial services (and women who have left the workforce), and if so, what is the nature and scale of the problem in the UK financial services sector?
- How do the symptoms of menopause transition, attitudes of workers experiencing menopause transition, and the attitudes of employers, impact on women’s economic participation (relative to men of the same age)?
- How can women employees experiencing the menopause transition be better supported? What best practice from organisations (if any) exists? Is there a recommended framework financial services should adopt to remove barriers and enable progression?
- Can the economic costs of the menopause transition on women’s economic participation be quantified?
- What is the mental health and wellbeing impact for individuals impacted by the menopause transition?
With the Fawcett Society’s charge, UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, research findings will be released come autumn.