Menopause is one of the most disruptive times of a woman’s life. It can affect everything from their cognitive ability to body temperature due to hormonal changes—subsequently, their work can be impacted if not careful. Despite menopause symptoms being well-known, benefits packages seldom wrap in coverage for specific treatments.
This was addressed in Bank of America’s Break Through the Stigma: Menopause in the Workplace report which revealed that half of peri- and post-menopausal women (51%) report menopause has negatively impacted their work life. Despite this only 14% believe their employers recognize the need for menopause-specific benefits, according to a news release.
“Right now, there are millions of women suffering in silence – trying to simultaneously manage menopause symptoms, stigma and their careers,” said Lorna Sabbia, Head of Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America in a statement. “With this report, we are addressing the issue head-on by bringing awareness to the challenges and identifying actions for employers. Our goal is to help women of all life stages comfortably and confidently bring their best selves to work.”
In partnership with National Menopause Foundation, the report analyzed the responses of 2,000 female workers and 500 benefit managers on menopause and how it affects women’s careers.
In 2020, Harvard Business Review acknowledged that menopause typically starts for women aged 45-55, usually the time of life when they move into leadership positions. Subsequently, due to ageism and sexism, some women take care to disguise their symptoms to not be harshly judged in the workplace for their naturally occurring symptoms.
“Menopause is a normal life stage in women’s lives, yet there is still a need and opportunity for workplaces to enhance their menopause policies and benefits,” said Claire Gill, founder of National Menopause Foundation. “We hope this research will inspire employers to create cultures that reduce stigma and foster better communication.”