STATEMENT FROM REASON PARTY: VICTORIAN SENATE CANDIDATE YOLANDA VEGA ANNOUNCES MENOPAUSE POLICY STATEMENT
Menopause is a silent yet massive economic issue, presenting an insidious barrier to women in the workplace.
The Reason Party is calling for all employers and governments to address menopause in order to get more women into leadership and/or retain them in managerial roles across all industries.
Menopause is often endured in silence. Research indicates women are leaving their careers when the hot flushes, sweats, sleeping, and concentration irregularities negatively impact them and their cognitive functions.
“The lack of menopause awareness in the workplace presents another barrier limiting progress for women and their careers,” says Vega. “The representation of women in leadership roles is already significantly limited; for example, the average tenure for a female board member is 4.1 years in comparison to 6.9 years for male board members. This gap is even wider for women board chairs, with the average tenure of 2.7 years compared to 6.3 years for a man.”
Support for menopause in the Australian workplace has largely been left to the private sector. In 2016, the Victorian Women’s Trust (VWT) introduced the Menstrual and Menopause Workplace Wellbeing Policy to support workers (VWT 2012).
The National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 published by the Australian Government (2019) outlines a need to conduct more research into working with menopause, however, there is no clear progress and no budget has been announced.
Reason, like the UK Parliament, wants Australia to undertake a Menopause and the Workplace Inquiry to examine the degree of impact menopause has on work and the government’s role in future policymaking.
Research also illustrates that there is a gap between progressing towards executive roles and experiencing menopausal symptoms. Additionally, the research reinforces the need for workplaces to be conducive to women dealing with symptoms of menopause. “Neglecting this issue and ignoring the elephant in the room could lead to women’s increasing absence from the workforce,” says Vega.
If we are serious about rebuilding after the Covid19 pandemic, we must include all our talent”, says Vega. “Building a more supportive working environment for those experiencing menopause has considerable benefits for our communities and our nation.
“The Grattan Institute found that the addition of 6% more working women would grow the Australian economy by $25 billion in addition to building economic independence”, says Vega.
For an interview with Reason Party Leader Fiona Patten, call Michael Short: 04388 04233 For an interview with Yolanda Vega, call Steven Jasper: 0410 479 974