Microsoft, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the National Basketball Association are among a few companies that have recently debuted a new workplace benefit: Support for those going through menopause.
These benefits may take the form of counselling and hormone therapy access in order to address a health issue that costs the overall US economy dozens of billions a year.
Demand for menopause benefits will likely continue to grow as the millennial generation ages.
The (Many) Reasons to Offer Menopause Benefits
Currently, around 4% of employers that offer sick leave are also providing additional menopause support, according to a new report from benefits consultant NFP — this is the first year that NFP has asked about menopause benefits specifically.
Women likely to be affected add up to a group that accounts for 20% of the female workforce, Bloomberg reports.
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At the same time, medical expenses and losses of productivity related to menopause adds up to an impact of $26.6 billion a year for the entire US economy, the Mayo Clinic finds. Symptoms like symptoms like hot flashes and sleep disturbances can have a huge impact on one's ability to work.
It costs a lot less to help address menopause issues than it does to not to anything about it, and in the business world, that means everyone should be considering what preventative measures to take.
Aging Millennials Are Driving New Health-Focused Workplace Benefits
Among businesses that don't offer menopause perks, the NFP survey finds, roughly one third say they're open to adding them in the next five years. That represents a big growth opportunity.
Former Microsoft executive Jill Angelo, who is now the co-founder and CEO of virtual menopause clinic Gennev, expects that demand for this new workplace benefit will continue to grow.
“You're starting to see this generation of older millennials that have grown up with fertility care in the workplace now aging into menopause. And they're going to have those expectations of that level of care that they've been receiving in the fertility space from their employer.’’ ~Jill Angelo
That's right, millennials have officially aged out of the “younger generation” label that they endured for a few decades. In 2023, the youngest millennials are around 27 years old, while the oldest ones are pushing their mid-40s. And with 87 million individuals comprising the group, they're the biggest single generational demographic in the workplace today.
They're still breaking new ground when it comes to tech and lifestyle advancements, but these days those advancements look like rising rates of smartphone-related hand injuries, medical startups, and age-related workplace health benefits.
Increased Workplace Benefits Help Everyone
Amid a big back-to-the-office push, it's worth pointing out that menopause benefits are similar to workplace flexibility and remote work policies: They're proven to help save businesses money and boost producitivity in the long run, since they keep workers more content with their work-life balance.
Younger employees have ideas about the best new workplace perks to include, too: Earlier this year, a survey found that a massive 92% of new graduates say that employers should offer mental and emotional health benefits.
Cost-cutting measures can seem appealing to many middle managers, but in the end, caring for your entire workplace and meeting health needs proactively will give most businesses a much better return.