According to Let’s Talk Menopause, an education and advocacy nonprofit, women make up more than half of the American workforce, and roughly 20% of those women are in some stage of menopause. In the past, women silently dealt with the symptoms of menopause — hot flashes, joint aches, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and brain fog — but the baby boom generation is speaking out, and the companies they work for are starting to listen. 

The Menopause Movement

Boomers have led societal revolutions for decades, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re at the forefront of a movement to destigmatize issues affecting women’s health and push for more research and support. They’ve started to call attention to the lack of pain management in gynecological procedures, and some are actively lobbying to spread awareness of the impact menopause can have.

And it’s working. What the boomers have that other generations didn’t is sheer numbers. According to a Mayo Clinic study released last year, menopause costs the U.S. economy an estimated $1.8 billion in lost working time per year, and $26.6 billion annually when medical expenses are added in. With numbers like that, companies are starting to spend money adopting initiatives to support (rather than replace) employees going through this life change.

Leading the Charge for Menopause Benefits

Unsurprisingly, the companies paving the way with menopause benefits tend to be huge corporations that can afford to add more comprehensive health packages. Companies like Bank of America, Bristol Myers Squibb and Adobe have launched menopause support programs. Genentech, a biomedical research firm, added menopause benefits in March 2023. Employees who enroll are entitled to 24/7 access to menopause specialists, a drop-in menopause support group and on-demand video chat and messaging with doctors, nurses and coaches specializing in menopause.

Other companies offer benefits by partnering with third-party menopause care providers, such as Gennev and Maven Clinic. The demand for their services has been huge: Microsoft, which utilizes Maven’s services, had more than 1,000 activations for its menopause support in the first week after launching its benefit package. Other companies that utilize Maven include education technology company Udemy and pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. Through Maven, employees are connected to virtual care providers, sleep coaches, OB/GYNs, nutritionists and other professionals who have special training in menopause care.

The Benefits for Companies

Nearly 11% of the 4,440 women aged 45 to 60 who responded to the survey mentioned in the Mayo study above said that they’d missed work in the past year because of menopause symptoms. Psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression were the most common. Other women cited hot flashes and debilitating mood swings that “affected their credibility” in the workplace as their top concerns.

By offering support to women experiencing menopause symptoms, companies benefit in numerous ways: Their female employees remain on the job, maintain their productivity and engagement, and have fewer absences. Menopause benefits are also an attractive feature for recruitment, as they demonstrate a desire to support female employees through all life stages.

Top image by instaphotos, via Canva.com


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