Menopause remains an overlooked workplace barrier, KPMG research finds

As many as two-thirds (66%) of perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal working adults believe there is still a taboo surrounding the menopause.

As many as two-thirds (66%) of perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal

As many as two-thirds (66%) of perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal working adults believe there is still a taboo surrounding the menopause, with over two-fifths (43%) saying that it has or could present a barrier in the workplace, according to new research carried out by KPMG UK.

Despite three-quarters (74%) of adults saying they are aware of the menopause being more openly discussed in recent years, only two-fifths (38%) say their own employer is helping to raise awareness. 

Only a fifth (18%) of those surveyed say they felt supported by their own employer when they developed symptoms. In fact, nearly half (48%) say their employer doesn’t have a menopause policy in place, while two-fifths (39%) are unsure.

Among the most popular support measures respondents want their employers to implement are adjustments to working patterns (38%) and working environments (34%), as well as more open conversations in the workplace and better education on the issue for managers (33% respectively).

Commenting on the findings, Rachel Hopcroft, Partner and Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG in the UK, said:

“Just over half of the UK population will go through the menopause at some point in their life, yet it’s still a topic that is seen as taboo – especially in the workplace. Our research findings reinforce the need to get over any discomfort and normalise the issue, especially if we want to make diverse and inclusive workplaces a reality for all.”

To mark World Menopause Day on Tuesday 18 October, KPMG UK is encouraging its own colleagues to talk openly about the menopause. A series of internal events are taking place throughout the week, helping to address the taboo and signpost colleagues to support available at the firm.

The firm has bolstered its own support measures with the launch its menopause policy. In addition to its existing medical support and counselling, occupational health, desk fans, free period products and flexible working arrangements, the firm will also be offering all colleagues access to a menopause trained GP and personalised care plan, as well as 24/7 access to a menopause trained nurse.

KPMG UK will also be running knowledge sessions on the menopause for its managers, ensuring they have the tools needed to support colleagues in workplace during a menopause transition. 

Rachel Hopcroft, added:

“Talking openly about the menopause and having the right support available is a key part of our firm’s commitment to building the most inclusive workforce possible. Doing so empowers our colleagues to ask for the support they need, so they can thrive at our firm.”


Research methodology:

KPMG in the UK commissioned 72 Point (One Poll) to survey 2,000 perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal UK working adults between the 7th and 13th October 2022. Respondents were asked various questions relating the menopause, including what provisions their employer had in place to support them. All respondents were aware of the signs and symptoms of the menopause, and 90% of them said they had experienced them.

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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 15,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.43 billion in the year ended 30 September 2021. 

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