Culture of silence around menopause is blocking female career progression & talent retention

work in office discussing some paperwork, menopause in the workplace

A culture of silence around menopause is blocking female career progression & talent retention, according to new research.

The research, published by Standard Chartered Bank and the Financial Services Skills Commission, found that the impact of menopausal symptoms is creating a blockage in the female retention and leadership pipeline across financial services.

The report, Menopause in the Workplace: Impact on Women in Financial Services, revealed that 25 per cent of women were more likely to leave the financial services workforce due to their menopause experience. In addition to this, 22 per cent said their experience made them more likely to retire early.

The research also found that almost half (47 per cent) of those surveyed said they were less likely to apply for a promotion because of their experiences with the menopause, with over half (52 per cent) stating it made them less likely to take on extra responsibilities. This is despite almost two in five (38 per cent) stating they want to progress to a more senior role. 

Speaking about the research, Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head of Human Resources at Standard Chartered said, “There’s a culture of silence around the menopause in financial services, with many women taking it on themselves to absorb the impacts of their experiences.”

“A lack of understanding and support is impacting female progression and at times leading to women opting out of the workforce altogether.”

“We are proud to raise the awareness that’s needed to further create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for all employees.”

“It’s time we shine a spotlight on the menopause; acknowledge we can talk about it openly and accept this directly impacts someone’s wellbeing and their career.”

Claire Tunley, Chief Executive at the Financial Services Skills Commission added, “For too long the menopause has been a taboo subject in the workplace.”

“Our research indicates the financial services sector could lose tens of thousands of women due to their experience of the menopause at work.”

“From senior leaders to customer service and call centre staff, everyone, regardless of age or gender, has the potential to benefit from greater menopause awareness.”

“To do this successfully, the sector needs to foster a supportive and inclusive dialogue, breaking the culture of silence around the menopause.”

“This will ultimately help the industry retain and progress talent to help drive innovation and productivity and deliver greater organisational strength and resilience.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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