Menopause impacts all women at some point in life, typically between 44 and 55 years old, with the transition lasting up to a decade, and often arrives at a time when their aspiration to grow and develop their careers is at its highest.
Menopause continues to be a taboo life stage and something the majority of Australian businesses, communities and individuals are reluctant to engage with, explained Natalie Moore, consultant at Own Your Health Collective.
There are over 35 symptoms of menopause, including brain fog, confusion, and forgetfulness; trouble sleeping; anxiety and moodiness; and lack of self-confidence.
Currently, there is no legislation around women in menopause; however, in the UK, there have been several litigation cases brought by women who have been “performance managed out”, discriminated against, or harassed.
The new psychosocial regulations could provide a starting point to bring these topics to light, Ms Moore suggested, and there is a rise in menstrual and menopause policies, which give the opportunity for women to take days off work if they are feeling symptoms.
Yet, there is apprehension to introduce such policies, noted Ms Moore; businesses are concerned women will take advantage of the policies, or on the flip side, that women will not use them for fear of being singled out, especially if going through menopause.