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Suffolk Chamber of Commerce holds first webinar dedicated to helping women at work experiencing the menopause

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Almost two in 10 women working in Suffolk have considered leaving their job due to the menopause, conference finds.

The figure was revealed at the first Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Menopause in the Workplace webinar, held earlier this month.

A recent poll, commissioned by Koru Kids, found that 18 per cent of women in UK workplaces currently experiencing menopause or perimenopause symptoms were considering leaving their job.

Suffolk Chamber is hoping to raise awareness and support for women in work. Stock image
Suffolk Chamber is hoping to raise awareness and support for women in work. Stock image

At Suffolk Chamber’s webinar these statistics were closely matched, as 17 per cent of 60 female attendees disclosed that they have considered leaving their job because of the menopause.

Alongside this, 36 per cent of attendees rated their organisation’s support for menopausal women as poor or very poor.

Aimed at helping local businesses to identify practical steps to address the issues of menopause in the workplace, attendees had the opportunity to hear from a panel of expert speakers who provided advice to help local businesses retain their staff and boost productivity in the workplace.

Michelle Pollard, Chair of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk Business Women policy group and managing director of Spider said: “Menopausal women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the UK workforce.

"According to a recent study by McKinsey, if we fully utilise women in the UK economy, by 2030 we would be adding £150 billion to our economy.

“It is clear from the webinar that businesses and staff are crying out for more support in this area, and so we want to provide business leaders with a package of support and information so that they can help their staff to get on with the day job.”

The panel of speakers at tjhe event included Kate Pigeon-Owen, Chief Executive of Wellbeing International, Charlotte Bate, director at MAD-HR, and Deborah O’Hara, deputy director of people & OD at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, who each shared their unique knowledge and expertise.

Advice on the day included providing menopause champions, adding a menopause policy in their staff handbook, and offering management training, as well as advising women to take control of their experiences and feeling confident to talk openly about the impact menopause has on their lives.

Amanda Ankin, operations director at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Businesses in Suffolk are already feeling the pinch from rising costs and the impact of increasing skills shortages, so it is vital that we are able to provide guidance and support that could help to retain staff and improve the bottom line.

“This is just the first step of the package of support Suffolk Chamber hopes to provide for businesses, and was a welcome opportunity to openly discuss what has for too long been a taboo subject for many people.”