Last week’s Harvard Business Review article covering how the menopause taboo negatively impacts women in the workplace got us thinking: if more people understood the “economics” of menopause and the $$ it costs them, would that change the status quo?
Buckle up and grab your (reading) glasses, ladies. Economics 101: The Hidden Cost of Menopause class is in session:
- Academics have estimated that menopause costs American employers $770 in productivity losses per menopausal woman/year. In extreme cases, this can run as high as $6,500 per woman/year. Woof.
- Across the pond, 60% of working British women report menopause negatively impacts their work and 1 in 3 have taken a sick day due to symptoms. But that’s not the worst of it: a 2017 study reveals that 1 in 10 women have considered quitting their job due to menopause. Double woof.
- Before holding these numbers against women, remember that proper workplace policies and support can mitigate these losses.
With roughly 50 million American women currently in menopause and another 2.2M woman entering every year, this is a topic we can no longer ignore. Whether you’re male, young, old, or cyborg, menopause is literally costing you – and the women in your life – billions of dollars.
WHAT WE’RE READING
This week was a busy one on the research & science of menopause front. Three interesting studies announced :
- Tulane University study shows hormone therapy could delay the onset of diabetes.
- Technical but informative read: calcium supplements may slow bone density decline for menopausal women, especially if started early.
- For every 1 in 3 women, determining the age of menopause is harder than it was 50 years ago. The culprit according to researchers? Increased hormone contraceptive use over time.
Up next? Economics 101: Menopause (Pt. 2) – Thought productivity losses were bad? Just wait till you hear how menopause costs our healthcare system.
Updated: May 12, 2020