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Keeping brilliant women in senior leadership requires focus on menopause

Keeping brilliant women in senior leadership requires focus on menopause

katie.robertson / 06 May 2024

E2W and Men for Inclusion have worked with and been a keen supporter of Kate Usher, Menopause & Gender Equity Consultant, Speaker, Trainer & Author. We are delighted to be sharing her thought leadership on our blogs.


75% of women have at least one troublesome menopausal symptom, while 25% have a life changing and devastating experience. Sadly 10% of women choose to leave their careers altogether. These are much quoted statistics and I am sure you will have seen them before.

If you work for an industry that struggles to retain brilliant women throughout their careers, with considerable losses at the time of motherhood (this is usually because the culture is not conducive to the needs of parents), meaning that those that have either not had children or have battled through parenting are both a rarity and valuable.

Women in the senior leadership team (SLT) are playing an increasingly pivotal role. Statistically for every one woman on the exec team, there will be three being pulled up the ranks behind them. McKinsey report that women in leadership roles improve performance and create more inclusive cultures than non-diverse SLTs. At the other end of the spectrum people, especially young people are choosing their employer based on diversity and inclusivity. What’s more if they find that once they have joined it is all PR nonsense, they will leave.

Suddenly a chain of impact is starting to become visible.

If your talent pipeline has a small number of women on it, and one or two of those women have a severe menopause and choose to leave, the impact will be catastrophic for diversity. It could take many years to replace them internally or considerable investment to bring someone in from outside.

So, what can you do about it, how can you protect the organisation and keep your best female talent?

  1. Awareness at a senior level is critical – Awareness is for everyone no exception
  2. Focused training for managers and influencers
  3. Focused training and coaching for those experiencing menopause
  4. Review your menopause policy
  5. Review the support and adjustments offered

This is also one of those things that will not resolve itself by luck or organic means. It takes action and consistency.

If you want your organisations senior female talent to stay on your talent pipeline, get in touch.

Q – Had you thought about the connection between menopause and women in senior roles before

Please get in touch with Kate and follow her LinkedIn page for regular and insightful content. 

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