The effects of menopause transition on women’s economic participation in the UK
reportposted on 11.02.2019, 14:52 authored by Joanna Brewis, Vanessa Beck, Andrea Davies, Jesse Matheson
Introduction This report discusses the effects of the menopause transition on women’s economic participation in the UK. It critically reviews the English language evidence base from 1990 to the end of March 2016, covering 104 publications. The research questions the report sets out to answer based on this evidence are: 1. To what extent is menopause transition a problem for working women (and women who have left the workforce)? What is the nature and scale of the problem in the workplace and the wider labour market? 2. How do the symptoms of menopause transition, attitudes of workers experiencing the menopause transition, and the attitudes of employers impact on women’s economic participation (relative to men of the same age)? 3. How can women employees experiencing the menopause transition be better supported? 4. Can the economic costs of the menopause transition on women’s economic participation be quantified? If so, how? 5. What are the key evidence gaps relating to the menopause transition and the workplace and/or labour market? These questions are extremely important because of the ageing female workforce in the UK. The average age of natural menopause in industrialised countries is 51, so more working women than ever before will experience the menopause transition. Transition refers to the time in women’s lives when they are moving towards the menopause, when their periods stop permanently. But there are no universally accepted definitions for the reproductive stages of a woman’s life, including the menopause itself and menopause transition. This creates confusion and makes studies difficult to compare. The report draws on evidence from across the world. We searched using variations on ‘work’, ‘employment’, ‘unemployment’, ‘redundancy’, ‘economic’, ‘productivity’, ‘capabilities’, ‘perform’, ‘menopause’, ‘perimenopause’, ‘climacteric’ and ‘premenopause’ in all relevant combinations. In total, 28 different platforms, including Business Source Premier, Scopus, Web of Science, the Equality and Human Rights Commission website, the Chartered Institute of Management website and the International Menopause Society website, were searched. Table 1 gives more details of the evidence we located.