Menopause and Black women

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2022 Virtual National Women's Conference
15 October 2021
Carried as Amended

Research suggests that there may be some variations for Black women in the average age at which the menopause takes place between women of different ethnic backgrounds. Some studies suggest that symptoms may be more prevalent and more severe for Black women, although research is not yet clear on the reasons for this.

Black women workers are also more likely to be in insecure work on casual or zero hours contracts, making it even more difficult to cope with significant menopausal symptoms.

Black women may face additional difficulties dealing with menopausal symptoms, particularly if there is racial discrimination in the workplace, which can mean problems in accessing appropriate support or having their symptoms taken seriously.

They may not have access to the same standard of healthcare due to health inequalities and consequently may experience inferior diagnosis and treatment of the menopause. This could lead to prolonged symptoms and more time off to attend additional appointments.

UNISON has produced guidance and a model policy on menopause, and with that in mind to expand on this for representatives in the workplace

We call on the National Women’s Committee to:

1)Explore with the National Black Members Committee Women’s Caucus how employers can create workplace policies that consider the impact of menopausal symptoms for Black women, to ensure that discrimination does not take place.

2)Undertake research of Black women’s experience at work, via a survey for Black women in UNISON and how best to support concerns

3)Encourage all NWC regional reps to contact and raise this issue with their respective regional Women’s Committee to discuss a joint strategy involving Black women in addressing this issue in the workplace.