Menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the workforce, and this Older Workers Week (22nd – 28th November), Minister for Employment Mims Davies is calling on employers to strengthen their support to keep millions in work.
With almost one in four women cutting their careers short because of the menopause, the Minister has today called on businesses to tap in to local support for low income older workers through specialist advice offered by a national network of advisors known as 50 PLUS Champions.
Spread across the country, this dedicated team is there to support employers to retain their workers over the age of 50, including women experiencing the menopause. While menopausal symptoms vary widely between women, research shows the average woman takes 32 weeks of leave in her career due to the menopause, and without the support of employers this limits progression and can lead to long-term unemployment.
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said:
We know through this report, we’re losing too many talented and experienced women from our workforce far too early – and we know we can and must change it.
Our new and expanded DWP team of Older Worker Champions is there to help – I urge employers to make the most of their knowledge and local links to help us retain women’s skills and expertise and support them through this transition.
This is a clear win for all. Employers and sectors with better support and clearer understanding are able to keep female talent and boost inclusivity. So women who have worked hard in their careers, don’t feel concerned that they may need to curtail their careers early due to the impact of the menopause.
50 PLUS Champion for North Lincolnshire, Anne Brewster, said:
This is an issue that’s often not given enough attention but can be devastating for people.
Work is good for our health, it is a pity to lose good staff without perhaps knowing the reason why or what can be done to keep them.
If an employer comes to me, I can help them retain these talented people and together we can face up to this challenge.
The call came as labour market figures released last week revealed that the amount of over 50s on payrolls had climbed by almost a quarter of a million compared to a year ago, but that the amount of women in work was still consistently behind men for every year after 50.
Earlier this year in July, the Minister for Employment commissioned an independent report from leading employer organisations on the issue of the menopause and the workplace which has been published today (Thursday 25 November 2021). The government will be responding to their recommendations in the coming months.