An overwhelming majority of women are looking to business leaders and politicians to find ways to keep older female colleagues in the workforce, according to new research from the British Standards Institution (BSI), which warns of a “second glass ceiling” for working women later in life.
Nearly a third of women expect to leave work before retirement, the research found, with 42% citing health reasons and a fifth giving menopause as the reason.
“Rather than see the considerations facing older women as a challenge, we can gain by seeing this as an opportunity for investment in current and future generations and an opportunity to boost growth, innovation and accelerate progress towards a sustainable world,” said Anne Hayes, director of sectors at BSI.
The research report, titled “Lifting the second glass ceiling” found 75% of UK women want employers to take action to keep experienced women in work and 71% would like politicians to drive this change.
Only 4% said they were aware of formal policies at their organisation which support women through menopause, compared to 74% who said they believe employers have a role in supporting women through the change.
Deborah Garlick, chief executive of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, which supports employers with training and best practice, said the reports recommendations to “prioritise education, open the dialogue and train colleagues to build empathy and offer support are spot on”.