Along with Microsoft and NBA, companies like Palantir Technologies Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. are also taking this revolutionary initiative.
Menopause is a natural phenomenon that every woman has to face when they cross the age of 40-45. In some cases, women experience symptoms of early onset of menopause and they experience a lot of changes in their body and mind as well. Menopause might affect the capacity of women working in demanding jobs too. So, in the United States, companies like Microsoft, Palantir Technologies Inc., and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. are taking a revolutionary new initiative to provide special benefits for women who have hit the phase of menopause, per Bloomberg.
Along with these companies, this proactive approach has been supported by the National Basketball Association too with the growing demand for such workplace assistance. According to the outlet, the natural phase has affected about 20% of female workers in recent dates. However, only about 4% of employers have provided sick leaves or extra support, such as hormone therapy and counseling to women experiencing menopause symptoms.
"We had such a phenomenal response to it, so clearly it was showing that employees had some pent-up demand for menopause benefits,” Sonja Kellen, the senior director of Global Health and Wellbeing at Microsoft said, per the LinkedIn post of Maven Clinic. "Microsoft With 20% of female employees likely to be affected by menopause, Microsoft took action to provide their global workforce with the support they need to thrive in and outside of the office. As a result, over 3,000 Maven provider-Microsoft members interacted in 58 countries within just two months–and this is just the beginning."
About one-third of the companies in the U.S. are deliberating on introducing menopause accommodations in the next five years. According to a report released by Microsoft in May 2023, over the past 15 months, the company has presented menopause management at the UK branch of WIT and the International Association of Microsoft Channels Partners. Menopause coach and educator Freddy Carrick said per the report, "One of the biggest concerns around menopause is that even though it’s a biological inevitability for most women, 75% of UK companies don’t have a menopause policy."
"With symptoms ranging from joint pain and heavy bleeding to anxiety and even suicidal ideation, menopause is as much a mental health concern as a physical one but often fails to be considered as such," he added. It was also reported that at least one in ten women have left their job in the UK due to menopause symptoms and over 40% of women admit that they are afraid of voicing their menopause concerns at work for fear of being dismissed or judged as incapable of doing their job, despite women holding 30% of senior leadership roles in the UK.
Many celebrities have also come forward to speak up about menopause in the past few years, hoping to raise awareness amongst people. In an interview with Hello Magazine, actress Naomi Watts candidly discussed how she went through early menopause at age 36, admitting that it was a lot more difficult not having much information about it. “I truly believe that if menopause hadn’t been such an off-limits topic when I first started experiencing symptoms, I would’ve had an easier transition.” She added, “I was part of a cycle that desperately needed to be broken. There was a lack of open conversation and resources to help women navigate the changes we go through. That’s why I’m now so passionate about raising awareness and encouraging more honest conversations.”