According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the proportion of women aged 50 to 64 in the workforce has risen by more than 50 per cent in the past 30 years.
The menopause usually occurs between 45-55 years of age but 1 in 1000 women will experience this transition before the age of 40.
In today's society women in this age range are likely to be at the peak of their career, have a family to support and eldercare to manage.
Unfortunately, during the menopause between 30-60% of women experience side effects of intermittent physical and/or psychological symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, mood disturbances, depression and anxiety. These symptoms are often suffered in silence and not discussed in the context of work.
This is not just an issue affecting women as the debilitating symptoms have wider consequences affecting all aspects of personal life - including the partners of women, who have little knowledge or awareness of the menopause. Organisations are facing menopausal presenteeism, disengagement, sickness increase or attrition of female talent.
Encompassing the menopause into a wider health and wellbeing agenda will provide an inclusive working environment where discussion of simple and supportive reasonable adjustments can be made to manage the symptoms.
In certain cases the long term symptoms of the menopause are likely to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as a disability.