Menopause does not equal the end of a career in conveyancing

Menopause does not equal the end of a career in conveyancing

“If we lose women in their forties and early fifties, it jeopardises opportunities for future female conveyancers” – Aconveyancing’s director Natalie Moore talks about the importance of menopause awareness in the workplace.

With over 50 staff across four offices, I’d say that 95% of the workforce at Aconveyancing is female. I’m not sure other firms would have a similar percentage split, but I know from experience within the industry for many years that it wouldn’t be far off.

Many firms, including ours, have processes in place for maternity and bereavement leave, but considering the employee ratio being highly tipped towards female, it’s only recently that conversations around menopause have started to happen – and we absolutely welcome them.

“Menopause does not equal the end of a career”

Menopause will affect everyone in our business at some point – whether directly or indirectly. Historically, menopausal women have been depicted as grumpy and irrational when in reality, we know this just isn’t the case. Women who also happen to be in their menopausal window are some of the most experienced, hardworking, powerful staff members in a team. In conveyancing, they bring a calm and wisdom to what can otherwise be a highly pressured work environment.

Women in menopause haven’t been supported professionally, forcing many to make the decision to leave the industry. It’s not always for health reasons, bereavement, divorce, and illness can hit women particularly hard as they also tend to bear the brunt of caring responsibilities – both for children and elderly relatives.

These important conversations around menopause are now coming to light and business leaders must do their best to empower these employees. Support them with an empathetic approach. Open conversations around menopause in the office are crucial for the entire team to understand what it means to go through menopause and what we can all do to help when and if needed. The changes we make now will also positively impact our younger staff. But while it’s important to talk about menopause, what are business leaders actually going to implement in working practices to support staff?

What are business leaders actually going to implement in working practices to support staff?”

If you’re considering taking the conversation a little further, a good option to consider is menopause training. We recently invited Nicola Green, a menopause workplace consultant and trainer, onto our podcast, Conveyancers for Change, to talk about it alongside our own associate Sam Burrows, who herself is in the early stages of a medically induced menopause. The insight Nicola offered to the conversation is hugely invaluable. Adding a level of empathy and education on the subject which has for far too long, gone unspoken about.

She also came into the office to host a session on menopause in the workplace. Along with a potted education on the complexities of menopause, Nicola offers practical tips on what businesses can do to support those going through all stages of menopause, tips that make a big difference to those that need it.

“If we lose women in their forties and early fifties, it jeopardises opportunities for future female leaders”

As much as we need to attract the next generation of conveyancers, we also need to protect the ones we already have and keep them in the workforce for as long as possible. The key to retention of mid-life women is support, flexibility and ensuring they are supported by managers who understand their issues. Harness the power of the workforce, support staff and don’t shy away from conversations which have to be normalised. I’d highly recommend any firm who hasn’t already offered this type of training to staff to get in touch with Nicola.

To hear the conversation on menopause on the Conveyancers for Change podcast, click here.

Natalie Moore, Director at Aconveyancing

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