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Childcare isn’t the only reason women are considering quitting their jobs

January 19, 2022, 2:06 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The European Parliament has a new president, two women set new American marathon and half-marathon records, and companies aren’t doing enough to support women through menopause. Have a productive Wednesday.

-The other reason women quit. As the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ rolls on, there have been plenty of theories about why it seems that everyone is quitting (or at least thinking about quitting) their jobs. But while companies are focusing on issues like employee burnout and the caregiving crisis, one thing you don’t hear much about is menopause.

But according to data from the U.K., the needs of employees undergoing menopause should very much be top of mind for anyone concerned about retention: a new survey found that almost a quarter of women experiencing menopause say they aren’t getting enough support at work to cope with their symptoms, and 18% are thinking of quitting over it. (This isn’t the first U.K. report on the subject, though I haven’t run across any comparable research in the U.S.) The experience of menopause varies, but many women report lack of sleep, hot flashes, and mood swings—symptoms that can have a real impact on the ability to do your job.

Before anyone tries to write this off as a niche problem, some data: according to Bloomberg, women of menopausal age account for 11% of the workforce in the G7, and, by 2030, will represent about a quarter of the world’s female population.

There are signs that the world is waking up to the impact that menopause can have—and the importance of providing help for those experiencing it. (The growth of menopause-focused health startups, for one.) But I think it’s fair to say that it has yet to become a significant concern for most employers. In that sense, perhaps the Great Resignation will actually be a boon for women. It’s a moment when companies are rethinking their role and responsibility in supporting employees and putting them in a position to succeed at work. That means tip-toeing into all sorts of areas that they would have steered clear of five years ago (mental health is a good example). Menopause should be on that list, and if even half the women who are pondering quitting because of it actually do, I guarantee companies will start paying attention.

Kristen Bellstrom

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


- Parliamentary update. The European Parliament elected Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola its next president. Metsola, 43, is the European Parliament's youngest president; the first person from Malta to lead an EU institution; and the first woman in 20 years to lead the body. She's a conservative politician known in part for her opposition to abortion rights. Guardian

- Run for it. Two women broke running records this past weekend at the Houston Marathon and half-marathon. Keira D’Amato, a 37-year-old former competitive runner who left the sport shortly after college, set a new American women's marathon record of 2:19:12, while Sara Hall broke the American women's half-marathon record. NBC News

- Second try. Ingrid Betancourt is running for president of Colombia. When the former congresswoman first ran for president 20 years ago she was kidnapped and held as a hostage for more than six years. "Today I am here to finish what I started," she said as she announced her candidacy. NYT

- You be the judge. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts asked his fellow justices to wear face masks amid the Omicron surge—in part because of the health of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes and does not wish to be around people who are unmasked. Justice Neil Gorsuch was the only member of the bench not to comply. When the justices returned, Gorsuch was didn't wear a mask, and Sotomayor—who usually sits next to him on the bench—worked remotely. NPR

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Carla Piñeyro Sublett is leaving her role as IBM's CMO after less than a year in the job. At Salesforce, interim chief equality officer Lori Castillo Martinez will step into the role on a permanent basis. Marcie Vu joins the board of Notion hired Meta's Roberta (Bertie) Thomson as chief communications and creative officer. CVS Kidney Care president Lisa Rometty joins the board of Rani Therapeutics. Iterable hired Qumulo CMO Adriana Gil Miner in the same role. After Sema4's acquisition of GeneDx, GeneDx CEO Katherine Stueland will become co-CEO and a board member of Sema4. IPG Mediabrands promoted UM U.S. CEO Lynn Lewis to global CMO. Dianne Martinez, chair at East Bay Community Energy and council member at the city of Emeryville, joins the board of nonprofit Veloz. At Afiniti, Martha Bejar joins the board of directors; Michelle Digulla moves from GM of Canada to chief people officer; and chief communications officer Natalie Cerny becomes chief marketing and communications officer. 


- Mural's new home. Artist Faith Ringgold's 1972 mural "For the Women's House" is dedicated to incarcerated women, based on conversations the now-91-year-old painter had with women on Rikers Island. Ringgold, after viewing the condition of the mural in 2019, began to campaign to move the piece from Rikers to a cultural institution. It is now being loaned from the NYC Department of Correction to the Brooklyn Museum. NYT

- Money for moms. Washington, D.C., is testing out a new pilot program that will provide $900 a month to pregnant women and new moms in three of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Wards 5, 7, and 8. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the $1.5 million program is about "reaching families long before school." Washington Post

- Highest honor. The Senate last week posthumously voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. Sen. Cory Booker introduced the legislation to award Till, who was killed by white supremacists in 1955, and Till-Mobley with Congress's highest civilian honor. The senator says the medal honors Till-Mobley's "courage and activism ... in displaying to the world the brutality endured by her son." CNN


The New York Post gets its own tabloid scandal New York Magazine

Mitski in 9 acts Vulture

Melanie Lynskey is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Maybe Rolling Stone


"I've been in a long process of trying to understand the difference between loneliness and solitude. ... Now I don't feel lonely at all. It feels like a big injury that healed."

-Jenny Slate on what she learned about loneliness while making the feature film version of Marcel the Shell

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