The legal profession celebrates World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day helps raise awareness about menopause and the support available to improve health and well-being.

The first woman became a barrister 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 had an impact on their working life.*

A study by Forth also found that 63% of people surveyed said their work life had been negatively affected by their symptoms. 34% had developed depression and anxiety, 29% had significantly lost confidence at work and 47% of respondents had trouble concentrating.**

President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Lubna Shuja, said: ‘Menopause affects a large proportion of our members, whether at first hand, through relationships, friendships or in the workplace. .

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

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

“Despite being more widely discussed, menopause is still stigmatized in some environments, making people reluctant to talk about it.

“There is work to be done to ensure that women can progress and stay in the profession while they manage symptoms, which can last an average of five years. They can get worse without the proper knowledge and support.

“Our 2021 Annual Statistical Report found that the median age of practicing female certificate holders is 40 and the median age of practicing 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 menopause, we risk losing a large demographic at a time in their careers when they can move into more senior positions. The profession then loses influential models of senior women, which should not happen.

“We must recognize that, for many reasons, individual experiences of menopause differ greatly.

“Symptoms, such as hot flashes, sweating, heart palpitations, brain fog and lack of sleep, can have a significant negative impact on physical and mental health. These can be exacerbated when they are associated with long hours and high demands on time and performance that are so common in law firms.

“Employers should consider a redesign of positions, reasonable adjustments, HR policies, changes to their work environments, flexible working and annual training for all staff.

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

Notes to Editors

Learn more about World Menopause Day

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

** The Read Forth survey on the impact of menopause on working life

*** Read our advice on menopause

Read our annual statistical report 2021

About the Law Society

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

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928