Millions of women forced out of work due to debilitating menopause symptoms

A MILIION British women have been forced to change their jobs or even quit altogether due to the menopause, research has shown.

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


Fired female employee holding box of belongings in an officeCredit: Getty

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

Menopause hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which helps to quell the crippling symptoms, is currently in short supply across the country, with pharmacies rationing stocks until October.

There are fears another million women will potentially take the same drastic decision to leave their jobs in the next five years.

Employment and inclusion specialist, Cynthia Davis, has warned that the number of menopausal women being forced to leave work has ‘spiralled.’

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This exodus of experienced workers, at a time of record job vacancies, could have catastrophic consequences for the UK economy, she warned.

The cost to employers of recruiting a new employee equates to an average of £5,000 each time a woman leaves employment due to experiencing the menopause, she said.

That could mean a total cost of £5bn for everyone in the UK currently not working due to the condition.

Recruitment firm CEO Ms Davis, who has spent months interviewing and polling current and former job candidates on issues around the menopause said this was the “single biggest unaddressed issue for British industry”.

An estimated 13 million women are perimenopausal or menopausal in the UK – but only 5.8 million of them are thought to be in work.

Ms Davis estimates the number of women that have left the UK’s workforce entirely to be around 300,000 over the last five years alone.

This brings the total to an estimated one million people who have had to change or quit their jobs as they felt unsupported or even discriminated against in the workplace.

Fabulous Menopause Matters

An estimated one in five of the UK’s population are currently experiencing it.

Yet the menopause is still whispered in hush tones like it’s something to be embarrassed about. 

The stigma attached to the transition means women have been suffering in silence for centuries. 

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

The campaign has three aims:

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

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

Exclusive research commissioned by Fabulous, which surveyed 2,000 British women aged 45-65 who are going through or have been through the menopause, found that 49% of women suffered feelings of depression, while 7% felt suicidal while going through the menopause. 

50% of respondents said there is not enough support out there for menopausal women, which is simply not good enough. It’s time to change that.

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

Ms Davis, Founder and CEO of Diversifying Group, said: “From what I’ve seen during the last five years I would say that twenty per cent of working women who are going through the menopause have had to change jobs because they’ve felt discriminated against, let down by their employers or simply unable to cope.

“That equates, at a conservative estimate, to around a million women who have switched jobs or stop working altogether in the UK.

“The key to unlocking this talent is to offer more support and flexible working arrangements – that’s how this experienced group of professionals can be tempted back to work.”

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Meanwhile, the HRT Government tsar has been taken off the job after four months in order to oversee the Covid jab rollout.

Menopause awareness is better than ever – thanks in part to our Menopause Matters campaign and the “Davina McCall effect” – meaning more women are confident to ask their GP for drugs. 

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