Menopause & the games industry

Silvana Greenfield (pictured), Holistic Health & Wellness Coach, shares a guest article on Menopause in the Workplace…

Silivana Greenfield

Dating right back to its formative years, the games industry workforce has always been disproportionately male dominated, and that hasn’t changed much when we look at recent statistics. Today it is made up of only around 26% of women with the gender divide further declining to around 16% when we look specifically at leadership roles.

So why then do we need to talk about Menopause in the Workplace at all in this sector?

Well, whilst it affects 51% of the population directly, it indirectly affects EVERYONE, whether through relationships at work or personally, it isn’t just a gender or age issue. With so many myths and misinformation out there, menopause education and awareness are key to driving the shift in cultural narratives by changing this perception.

With one in four menopausal women considering leaving their jobs due to symptoms and one in ten actually leaving (I was that statistic), organisations are losing talented, skilled and experienced individuals, all because many are just too scared to discuss it, as they feel it may be perceived negatively, or their abilities will be questioned.

Evidence speaks for itself and the fact is with the right support in place many women can thrive and progress through this period of their lives. Just as we have seen with mental health, employers need to acknowledge the impact of menopause on wellbeing and performance. By advocating women’s health, we can start to break down the taboo and stigma which surrounds it and become part of the movement of change.

So, what actionable ways can studios, publishers and game industry leaders take to support individuals at work?

  1. Policy

Have clearly defined guidance around how your organisation supports or responds to menopause, ensuring policies are clearly signposted and well publicised. This shouldn’t be something you create and put into a drawer, tackling the menopause agenda plays a critical role in your DE&I strategy.   

  1. Engagement

Start the conversation, we know that there is a serious lack of awareness and comprehension (even amongst women themselves), normalising and getting comfortable talking about it openly, actively endorses a more understanding and inclusive culture.

  1. Employee Training

Promoting company wide training and learning on the subject, will equip your teams to understand what the menopause is, why and when it happens and be in a position to recognise and acknowledge the impact it may have, especially in the workplace.

  1. Support

Some of the physical and psychological symptoms can wreak havoc on a person’s wellbeing, so having menopause champions, support groups and regular 1:1 check-ins is key to ensuring that anyone struggling does not suffer alone or in silence.

  1. Environment

Offering flexible working arrangements or workplace adjustments to someone can aid their ability to work at their best. Operating a hybrid model, providing desk fans, creating a quiet breakout space or ensuring easy access to washroom and toilet facilities are all aspects to consider.

Finally, it’s important to note that no two people’s experience will be the same, everyone’s journey through the menopause is different and unique to them. There isn’t a one-fits all solution, so we need to be mindful of this when offering support to someone by treating them as an individual.

Becoming a menopause friendly organisation not only shows your commitment to supporting colleagues in your workplace, but helps you stand out as a responsible and inclusive employer, making you a great place to work. So, isn’t it time you placed this at the top of your business agenda?

If you’d like to learn more about making your organisation menopause friendly, please email me at

Earlier this month the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published new guidance on menopause in the workplace, setting out employers’ legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 – you can read more about there right here.

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