Following her appearance on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on Thursday, Diane Danzebrink travelled to Swansea to meet with Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Carolyn Harris, who she is working with to improve awareness of menopause in the workplace, at a Menopause Support group that Diane has helped to set up in a Tesco store in the area. A group of twenty women from the store including group leader Julie Bird joined Diane and Carolyn and told them just how the group had helped them. All the women agreed that knowing they were not alone and having a safe space to talk about what was going on for them had made a huge difference to their lives.
Recent research has shown that one in ten women say they have to leave their jobs, and one in four consider leaving due to menopause symptoms, the problem is significant.
“Women are not looking for special treatment but we are concerned there is no support pathway in the workplace for menopause, as there is for pregnancy. We think everyone, wherever they work, deserves the right to be able to discuss their health and well-being with someone who understands menopause and how debilitating the symptoms can be.
“Businesses and organisations have a legal duty of care to their workforce and it is win-win situation for both employers and employees that menopause is recognised in the workplace to ensure that staff and managers feel comfortable to discuss it and employers do not lose valued team members” she added. The next step will be to organise a cross-party meeting in Westminster, in the spring, to determine support for possible legislation.”
Carolyn Harris MP said:
“The fact that 25% of women suffering with menopause symptoms consider leaving work due to lack of support from their employer is appalling.
“I would like to believe that it is common sense for employers to recognise the significance of menopause within the workplace. However if legislation is needed, I am more than willing to take this issue forward.
“It is time that we joined forces with organisations that are doing something about menopause within the workplace so that we can share the benefits of being positive about the menopause, for the organisation and the individual.”