ONE in four women consider giving up their jobs when they experience menopause, male business leaders were told at the first event of its kind in the UK.

Gentlemen, Let’s Talk About the Menopause, an online event organised by Dorset Chamber, heard that women over 50 were the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace.

The event heard from Nicola Green, who set up her own consultancy advising employers about the issue after going through early menopause in her 30s.

She said: “The average of a menopausal woman is 51 and this age group can often fit into the ‘sandwich generation’, which is women potentially still bringing up children at home or now responsible for grandchildren who could also be caring for elderly parents while holding down a career and going through menopause.

“I can tell you that sometimes can become all too much if menopause is not understood and supported in the workplace – and in my experience, it’s the job that the lady will give up first.

“One in four women will consider leaving their place at work due to menopause symptoms.”

She added: “These are amazing women who have potentially worked for years and years to get to the position they’re in.”

The partners of women going through menopause were often “completely sleep deprived as well” and “concerned about what on Earth is happening at home and concerned about crumbling relationships”, she said.

Her advice to bosses included regular, informal one-to-one conversations with staff; avoiding assumptions or direct questions about symptoms; and being respectful of people and their privacy. But she said the “ultimate tip” was to “be there and listen”.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling, who has spearheaded a campaign to have the issue recognised in workplaces, said: “The response of the men attending was incredibly encouraging. It is so important to open up conversations in the workplace so women feel comfortable talking about the menopause and are supported.

“We believe this to be the first event of its kind to be held in the UK and it is part of our wider campaign about menopause education. It’s about having an understanding of what women may be going through and for a female colleague to be able to say ‘please bear with me, it’s not a great day today’.”

Mr Girling recently spoke to chamber bosses from all over the country about the issue and is sitting on

Other speakers at the Dorset event included Edward O’Brien of Lester Aldridge solicitors and Theresa Higgins, Dorset Chamber head of finance and administration, who spoke of her own experiences of the menopause in the workplace.