At any one moment in time, there are up to 15.5 million women experiencing varying stages of menopausal transition for anything between two and twelve years.
And for two thirds of people, the symptoms – ranging from anxiety, depression and lack of confidence to uncomfortable, upsetting or overwhelming physical manifestations – will negatively affect their working life.
In many cases, they will suffer in silence, fearful or embarrassed about talking about it.
And it has been shown to have a direct impact on their career progression. A 2019 report released in May 2021 said that 900,000 women left their jobs as a result of menopausal symptoms. Too many others resign themselves to treading water as they are overlooked or ignored for promotions or advancement.
At Dark Horses, we believe that this is too many people struggling, for too long to be ignored or marginalised.
We believe that our industry, and all industries need to do their very best to retain these experienced, talented women. And that requires education, understanding and support.
The first place to start is with putting in place a coherent menopause policy that provides the necessary information to help everyone – not just menopausal women – recognise the diverse array of symptoms, and provide support and recommendations for how to go about making their working lives that bit more manageable and empathetic.
That is why we have done the legwork for any organisation who would like to put a menopause policy in place, pulling together an open-source policy that you are welcome to use, adapt and improve as you see fit.
We would recommend that this is circulated for all to read, rather than sitting on a dusty metaphorical policy shelf.
You can download the policy below.