Legal profession marks World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day helps boost awareness of the menopause and the support available for improving health and wellbeing.

The first woman became a solicitor in 1922 and today women make up 53% of the profession in England and Wales.

A survey conducted by IPSOS Mori for the British Menopause Society, found that more than a third of respondents said their menopause had impacted their work life.*

Research by Forth also found that 63% of respondents said their working life had been impacted negatively by their symptoms. 34% had developed depression and anxiety, 29% significantly lost self-confidence at work and 47% of respondents struggled to concentrate.**

Law Society of England and Wales president Lubna Shuja said: “The menopause affects a large proportion of our members, whether first hand, through relationships, friendships or in the workplace.

“That is why the Law Society has produced menopause guidance to help individuals and firms access the support they need.***

“It is important that organisations and their leaders understand the impact of the menopause on their employees, take steps to offer support and adapt their environments to be more accommodating. This allows their workforce to thrive.

“Despite being more widely discussed, there is still stigma attached to the menopause in some environments which makes people reluctant to discuss it.

“There’s work to do to ensure women can progress and remain in the profession as they manage symptoms, which can have an average duration of five years. They can worsen without the right knowledge and support.

“Our annual statistics report 2021 found that the median age of women, who are practising certificate holders, is 40 and the average age of sole practitioners is 52.4. The average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51.

“If the profession fails to appreciate the potential impact of the menopause, we risk losing a large demographic at a point in their careers where they may be in more senior roles. The profession then loses influential senior women role models which should not happen.

“We must recognise that, for many reasons, peoples’ individual experiences of the menopause differ greatly.

“Symptoms, such as hot flushes, sweats, heart palpitations, brain fog and poor sleep, can have a strong adverse impact on both physical and mental health. These can be exacerbated when paired with long hours and high demands on time and output, which are so common in law firms.

“Employers should be considering job redesign, reasonable adjustments, HR policies, changes to their working environments, flexible working, and annual training for all staff.

“Anyone going through the menopause should be empowered to seek professional advice when needed.”

Notes to editors

Read about World Menopause Day

* Read the British Menopause Society’s 2020 national survey results

** Read Forth’s survey on the impact of menopause on working life

*** Read our menopause guidance

Read our annual statistics report 2021

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

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