Mumbai, 18 October – International SOS, the world’s leading health and security risk services company, joins the world in supporting World Menopause Day today 18 October. The International Day is to raise awareness of menopause and is dedicated to acknowledging and supporting women’s health during menopause. International SOS encourages organisations to create a supportive, inclusive workplace and offers valuable insights to help organisations and employees navigate the menopause transition.
Worldwide, the number of postmenopausal women is on the rise. According to the World Health Organization, menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, and the average age of menopause is 51. In 2021, women aged 50 and above constituted 26% of the total female population, marking an increase from 22% ten years earlier.1 Menopause is occurring at an earlier age, which highlights the growing need for organisations to step up their Duty of Care responsibilities to provide enhanced support for their female employees going through menopause.
The symptoms and experiences associated with menopause can vary widely among individuals. Menopause, with its numerous complexities, has adverse effects on the quality of life of women and often impacts their professional lives, with some reporting an increase in missed work due to the physical and emotional effects.2 It is crucial for organisations to recognise the diversity of experiences and tailor support accordingly.
Dr Kate O’Reilly, Medical Director at International SOS, said “Menopause is the result of changes in the levels of a hormone called oestrogen, and its impact on women’s wellbeing and productivity is significant. Other causes of menopause include surgery, chemotherapy or genetic conditions and cases sometimes result in early menopause. Employers should prioritise understanding and addressing the unique needs and challenges that menopausal employees face.
She added, “It is important for organisations to understand that menopause symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, joint and muscle aches and vaginal dryness, dry skin and hair and weight gain. The duration of symptoms can range from months to several years. Whilst there has been progress in normalising the conversations around menopause, work settings can help women further by having a menopause policy, providing a supportive environment, raising awareness and signposting anyone with concerns to sources of further information.”