According to a new study from the British Medical Association, doctors going through menopause are cutting back on hours or even retiring from medicine entirely due to the sexism and ageism they’ve experienced in hospitals.
The Guardian reports on the study, in which 90 percent of 2,000 survey respondents say their menopause symptoms have affected their work, but 38 percent of respondents say that they then needed to make changes to their work life due to symptoms. The BMA found a “strong pattern” of women leaving their jobs as clinical leaders or directors because they received no support for their menopause symptoms from colleagues or managers. Many respondents cited being laughed at or ridiculed by colleagues if they spoke about menopause at work.
The ageism and sexism that women going through menopause experience at work exists outside of medicine as well. In 2019 Quartz reported on a lack of supportive workplace polices for employees going through menopause, citing a 2017 University of Leicester report that estimate that absenteeism from menopause can result in a $9.5 million annual loss. The lack of policies is also concerning in America, where the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be twice as many women workers over the age of 55 and older than women aged 16 to 24, according to the AARP.