Whether in the C-Suite or on the job site, women bring invaluable skills and diverse perspectives vital for any organization’s long-term success. Why then, according to a recent Lean In and McKinsey study, do women leave their jobs by a factor of 2-to-1 over those who are promoted to senior levels?

Certainly, women across the entire employment spectrum are used to overcoming unique career obstacles. So, understanding the underlying factors contributing to this growing exodus is emerging as a pivotal issue of modern times.

At the heart of this retention challenge lies a topic often enshrouded in shame, secrecy, and taboo – menopause. The hard truth behind the significant numbers of women leaving the workforce is the impact of midlife hormonal changes.

Menopause forces 1 in 10 women to exit the workforce every year

An In Circle survey reported that 83% of women admitted that menopause symptoms had a direct,  negative effect on their roles and responsibilities. But, regrettably, many women suffer menopausal challenges in silence, managing symptoms on their own, unaware of where or how to seek support that could genuinely make a positive difference. Compounding their uncertainty is the complexity of menopause, with over 48 associated symptoms, often mirroring other health issues, and making it challenging to identify.

Astonishingly, the Fawcett Society, reports that one in ten women exits the workforce each year due to these symptoms.

Menopause costs Canadian business $3.5 billion annually

The financial implications for businesses resulting from these midlife departures are undeniable and substantial. In collaboration with Deloitte, the Menopause Foundation of Canada estimates that unmanaged menopause symptoms cost the Canadian economy a staggering $3.5 billion annually. This includes lost productivity, unplanned extended absences, and revenue loss. Not surprising, since women aged 40-60 constitute a significant portion of the workforce, with those aged 45 to 55, representing the fastest-growing segment.

To begin to stem the losses and, most importantly, address the personal challenges preventing greater retention of experienced women in the workforce, it’s up to employers to take proactive steps. This involves creating a workplace culture that recognizes and accommodates women’s unique health needs, embraces diversity, normalizes discussions about menopause, and provides tailored support for women experiencing midlife hormonal changes.

Women want employer benefits to cover menopause treatments and therapies

The Canadian Menopause Foundation found that three-quarters of women surveyed, would like to see workplaces offer supports, with medical insurance coverage for menopause treatments and therapies being a highly sought after benefit.

Providing tailored health benefits that address the specific challenges midlife women face, can lead to reduced claims and heightened productivity.  When symptoms don’t disrupt their performance, women can dedicate themselves more efficiently to their work which contributes to talent retention, and, ensures the continued growth and success of their teams.

Empowering women as they navigate midlife hormonal changes isn’t solely a matter of gender equality; it’s also a strategic business investment. Employers who acknowledge and address these unique health needs can reap the benefits of a diverse and dynamic workforce, an inclusive and supportive culture, and gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent. By providing tailored health benefits that cater to the specific challenges midlife women face, organizations can achieve lasting success and create a brighter future for all.

To learn more about adding specialized menopause benefits to your organization to help support and retain talent, visit sanoliving.ai.

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