The British Standards Institution has conducted a survey of over 5,000 women across the UK, USA, Australia, China and Japan to determine why women prematurely leave the workforce.
Of the UK women surveyed, the report found:
- Only 50% were confident that their generation would receive equal levels of flexibility and support to remain in the workforce as long as their male colleagues;
- 21% considered that the main barrier to remaining in work was their caring responsibilities;
- 20% believed that the main barrier to remaining in work was linked to the menopause, with 54% admitting it would be difficult to raise such issues with their employer; and
- 71% believed that it would be helpful if employers were to address personal health and well-being issues in formal policies.
The report noted the negative impact that women prematurely leaving can have on an organisation, including productivity losses and wasted talent with 73% of the women surveyed agreeing that the presence of more experienced female colleagues would be beneficial to development.
To retain women in the workforce, employers could consider:
- Implementing formal policies relating to menopause;
- Encourage open dialogue to understand the needs of women within the organisation by asking what the business can do for them and acting upon suggestions;
- Conduct training for managers and senior staff; and
- Offering flexible or hybrid working where appropriate.
Please feel free to contact the Employment Team on [email protected] for any assistance.