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New Report Reveals Menopause is Impacting Women's Careers with 80% Citing It as a Workplace Challenge

New Report Reveals Menopause is Impacting Women's Careers with 80% Citing It as a Workplace Challenge

PR Newswire

Carrot Fertility's 2023 Menopause in the Workplace report shows that stigma over battling menopause and ageism are both evident in the workplace; 72% are uncomfortable after experiencing menopause symptoms at work, and nearly 50% of women share that they've experienced ageism

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Women in the U.S. and UK share that menopause is impacting their careers, according to a new report from Carrot Fertility. Ahead of Menopause Awareness Month in October, the leading global fertility care platform commissioned a survey of 2,000 employed American and British women who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause to uncover how it impacts them. Carrot's second annual Menopause in the Workplace report seeks to heighten awareness of its detrimental effects and encourage more menopause support for those who need it.

Menopause symptoms create serious, career-limiting workplace challenges

The survey revealed that 80% of respondents, regardless of professional sector or industry, report managing menopause symptoms as a challenge at work. The vast majority (72%) have felt uncomfortable or self-conscious after experiencing a menopause symptom in the workplace.

A long list of work interferences was reported by women in both countries, with loss of concentration at the top for U.S. (42%) and UK (56%) respondents. Additionally, 28% of UK respondents reported lower confidence levels due to the stigma of menopause. For U.S. women, 27% reported needing to take more breaks.

To manage their symptoms in the workplace, the majority of women (54%) reported the need to shift their work routine. Top actions include reducing hours, shifting careers, moving from full to part-time work, changing jobs for a less demanding one, and quitting. Notably, women of color are more likely to consider shifting from full-time to part-time to manage menopause; relatedly, they are also more likely to feel like menopause may damage career growth, including 58% of UK women of color, compared with 32% of white UK respondents and 22% of white U.S. women. Among respondents who took time off from work due to menopause, the vast majority — 79% — concealed the real reason at least some of the time. Moreover, an average of one-third (31%) of women surveyed feel that going through menopause while working will damage their career growth.

Stigma over battling menopause and ageism are both evident in the workplace

The majority of women surveyed experience stigma associated with battling menopause in the workplace, with 54% uncomfortable asking their employer for workplace benefits or support to address menopause challenges. The top reasons are the perception of being unable to manage job responsibilities, overall stigma, and uncertainty over who or how to ask for support.

Nearly half of all respondents (47%) shared that they have experienced ageism at work. It's slightly more common for U.S. women (50%) vs. UK women (44%). Overall, 44% say they experience ageism more than male colleagues. Women of color are more likely to experience ageism and receive criticism.

"Supporting women at work through perimenopause and menopause is an investment in retaining senior talent," said Tammy Sun, Founder and CEO of Carrot Fertility. "By offering age-inclusive fertility and lifelong hormonal health benefits, employers can keep women at the peak of their careers and foster greater menopause awareness in the workplace. Since we first introduced our menopause support more than a year ago, the majority of Carrot customers have started offering these benefits to their employees, showing promise that the tides are turning towards more menopause support in the workplace."

Menopause is a mystery to women, but many are avoiding medical care

For many women, menopause remains a mystery. Less than 20% of women say they had a high level of understanding of menopause before symptoms began.

Despite reporting symptoms, though, many have avoided medical care. One in three respondents shared that they have never discussed menopause with their doctor, including 39% of British women, compared with 25% of Americans. When guidance from a doctor is sought, 66% report satisfaction with the support.

"The average age for women to enter menopause is 51, but for some, it can begin much earlier," said Asima Ahmad, MD, MPH, FACOG, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Carrot Fertility. "In some cases, perimenopause can last for over 10 years, and symptoms can vary greatly over time. That's why it's so important for women to get access to specialized menopause care and understand their options as early as possible. With treatment, symptoms can become less disruptive to their daily life and careers. It can also help women understand how to optimize their overall health, including their bone health and heart health."

Discussion of menopause remains taboo, but women encourage more public discourse

Most women are reluctant to discuss menopause, not only in the workplace but also among friends and family. Overall, just 23% of respondents have shared their menopause experience beyond their social circles. 26% in the U.S. and 15% in the UK are uncomfortable sharing with friends, and 20% in both countries are even hesitant to discuss with relatives. More American women (56%) are uncomfortable sharing with work colleagues than British women (41%). Women of color, however, are more open about the challenges of managing menopause at work, being more likely to vocalize it as an unbearable or significant challenge. They are also more likely to be open about menopause on social media or other public forums.

Despite their own silence on the topic, nearly all respondents (90%) concur that more public awareness and discussion of menopause, symptoms, and their impact on women will help generate additional support. Specifically, respondents perceive the voices of renowned individuals as particularly helpful, with an average of 63% reporting they would feel better if they heard celebrities or public figures share their own menopause experiences.

To learn more, read the full 2023 Menopause in the Workplace report.


Carrot commissioned this scientific random sample of 2,000 respondents, equally divided between the U.S. and UK, who are all women between the ages of 45 and 60, currently employed for wages, and are either perimenopausal, currently menopausal, or recently completed menopause. The survey was fielded between August 21-25, 2023, and has a margin of error for the entire sample of 2; each country's sample has a margin of error of 3%.

About Carrot Fertility

Carrot Fertility is the leading global fertility care platform, serving people of every age, race, income, sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, and geography. Trusted by hundreds of multinational employers, health plans, and health systems, Carrot's comprehensive clinical program delivers industry-leading cost savings for employers and award-winning experiences for millions of people worldwide. Whether there is a need for care through fertility preservation, male-factor infertility, pre-pregnancy, IVF, pregnancy and postpartum, adoption, gestational surrogacy, or menopause, Carrot supports members and their families through many of the most memorable and meaningful moments of their lives. With Carrot, you can pursue your possible.

Carrot has received national and international recognition for its pioneering work, including Best Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Product from the Anthem Awards, Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies, CNBC's 100 Barrier Breaking Startups, and more. Carrot is regularly featured in media reporting on issues related to the future of work, women in leadership, healthcare innovation and diversity, equity, and inclusion, including MSNBC, The Economist, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, Harvard Business Review, and more.

Carrot teams span more than 40 states across the United States and dozens of countries around the world. Carrot has received numerous workplace awards, including Fortune's Best Workplaces in Healthcare, Quartz's Best Companies for Remote Workers, and Great Place to Work and Age-Friendly Employer certifications. Learn more at

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SOURCE Carrot Fertility

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