According to the CIPD report, women over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the workforce. So, why do so many suffer from age discrimination? Possibly it’s to do with the common, but sometimes misunderstood symptoms that affect lots of women between the ages of 45-55, including hot flushes, headaches, aches and pains, insomnia and memory loss…
…and I know all too well about these symptoms because – my name is Maxine and (drum roll please) I’m a menopausal woman! There, I’ve said it. However, despite the menopause, I’m still able to function and continue to be an integral part of the senior team here at Wote Street – our recruitment agency in Basingstoke. How? I recognise my symptoms for what they are and incorporate simple coping mechanisms into my everyday life at work:
I’m also lucky to have a supportive work team and not ashamed to admit I’m menopausal – I also don’t allow menopause to define me.
Sadly, not all women receive the same support as me. Anxiety, mood swings, and low self-esteem can also be symptoms of menopause (there’s a big list!), but unaware some women think these are purely signs that they can no longer cope with the pressures of work – and leave. What a waste of experience and wisdom! When the pensionable age for women is currently 68, this is also not the best move from a financial perspective.
So, should you avoid employing women of 45+? Certainly not! Menopause shouldn’t be a taboo subject and nobody – even men – should be embarrassed talking about it. The more we talk, the less of an obstacle it becomes – we find solutions (just like mine) to reduce the impact of menopause on businesses and employees – and find the right balance.
Diversity forums have also been telling us for years how beneficial a varied, inclusive staff pool can benefit the workplace. 50+ women have a positive impact in our workplaces. Bust the age discrimination myths!
Flexible working and reasonable adjustments are (or should be) the norm and it’s important that HR, Line Managers and Senior Management are all trained to spot the signs of menopause and offer the right support to women, so they can continue to be effective members of the team.
Find out more about supporting menopause in the workplace using these two useful links:
There are also some free ‘Managing your Menopause’ workshops running in libraries across Hampshire in October and November
Calling all women. Regardless of your age, we can help match you with the right job. Contact us to arrange a time to register and discuss current job in Basingstoke.
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