Millions of women have been left unemployed due to debilitating menopausal symptoms

ONE MILLION British women have been forced to change jobs or even quit altogether because of menopause, research has shown.

The condition is a natural part of aging, however the symptoms can be debilitating for some.

Fired employee holding a box of belongings in an office


Fired employee holding a box of belongings in an officePhoto credit: Getty

Many will experience concentration or memory problems, hot flashes, and even depression.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause, which helps quell debilitating symptoms, is currently in short supply across the country, and pharmacies are rationing supplies through October.

There are fears that another million women may make the same drastic decision to quit their jobs in the next five years.

Cynthia Davis, an employment and inclusion specialist, has warned that the number of menopausal women who are being forced to quit work has “entered a spiral”.

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This brain drain at a time of record job vacancies could have disastrous consequences for the UK economy, she warned.

The cost to employers of hiring a new employee averages £5,000 each time a woman leaves work due to menopause, she said.

That could mean a total cost of £5bn for everyone in the UK who is currently off work due to the disease.

Ms Davis, CEO of the recruitment firm, which has spent months interviewing and quizzing current and former job applicants on issues surrounding menopause, said it was the “biggest single unresolved problem for UK industry”.

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An estimated 13 million women in the UK are going through perimenopause or menopause – but only 5.8 million of them are believed to be in the labor force.

Ms Davis estimates the number of women who have left the UK workforce entirely at around 300,000 in the last five years alone.

This brings the total to an estimated one million people who have had to change jobs or quit because they felt unsupported or even discriminated against at work.

Fabulous menopause affairs

It is estimated that one in five of the UK population currently suffers from it.

Yet menopause is still whispered about in low tones, as if it were something to be ashamed of.

The stigma attached to transition means women have suffered in silence for centuries.

Determined to change that, The Sun is launching the Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign to give the taboo a long-awaited kick and give women the support they need.

The campaign has three goals:

  • To make HRT free in England
  • To get every workplace to have a menopause policy to provide support
  • Breaking taboos around menopause

The campaign was supported by a variety of influential figures including Baroness Karren Brady CBE, celebrities Lisa Snowdon, Jane Moore, Michelle Heaton, Zoe Hardman, Saira Khan, Trisha Goddard and Dr. Louise Newson, Carolyn Harris MP, Jess Phillips MP, Caroline Nokes MP and Rachel Maclean MP.

An exclusive study commissioned by Fabulous, which surveyed 2,000 British women aged 45 to 65 who were or were going through the menopause, found that 49% of the women suffered from depression, while 7% had suicidal thoughts, while going through menopause.

50% of respondents said there isn’t enough support for women going through menopause, which just isn’t good enough. It’s time to change that.

And many more could follow in the next five years, she says.

Ms. Davis, Founder and CEO of Diversifying Group, said: “From what I’ve seen over the past five years, I would say that twenty percent of working women going through menopause have had to change jobs because they are changing felt discriminated against, abandoned by their employers or simply overwhelmed.

“That equates to a conservative estimate of around one million women who have changed jobs or stopped working altogether in the UK.

“The key to unleashing this talent is to offer more support and flexible working arrangements – this is how to attract this experienced group of professionals back to work.”

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Meanwhile, the HRT government’s czar was sacked after four months to oversee the launch of the Covid pulse.

Awareness of menopause is better than ever – thanks in part to our Menopause Matters campaign and the “Davina McCall Effect” – meaning more women are confident about asking their GP for medication. Millions of women have been left unemployed due to debilitating menopausal symptoms

Sarah Y. Kim

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