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Financial services sector needs policies for menopause to retain women, finds UK study

Wednesday October 20, 2021, By Diversity Digest

A report by Standard Chartered Bank and the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) has found out that the financial services sector needs policies to address menopause in women to retain them in the workforce.

Menopause, which marks the end of the menstrual cycle, comes with varying physical and psychological impact on women undergoing it. The study conducted in mid 2021 aims to understand how it impacts the female talent pipeline. The study covered 2,376 respondents from over 100 different organizations, of which 2,089 were women and 287 were men.

The UK report titled ‘Menopause in the Workplace: Impact on Women in Financial Services’ reveals three key findings:

  • There is a culture of silence around the impact of menopause. Only 22% of women and transmen currently experiencing menopause disclose their status at work.
  • The sector is losing talent because of menopause. Amid this culture of silence and the impact of symptoms, menopause is holding back women from progressing and in some cases staying in work. At least half of the women and trans men who are currently experiencing menopause are less likely to want to apply for a promotion. One-quarter of employees currently experiencing menopause said their experience has made them more likely to leave the workforce before retirement.
  • With the right support, women can stay and progress in financial services. Most women part of the study who reduced their seniority or left said that had they known more about the phase and were offered support, they would have stayed or progressed.

The report discusses holistic DEI initiatives like creating a culture to discuss the phase, training the people at workplace to respond to it, and building awareness. It also looks at ways to offer flexibility to the women like work from home, staggered hours, part-time work, and job sharing breaks between meetings and work times alongside changes in the work environment, work wear, etc.

The report’s findings are significant as 1 in 10 employees working in the financial services sector are experiencing menopause, a staggering 128,000.

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