June 20, 2022 5 min read

50% of the population go through the menopause, and the office of national statistics have stated that menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the workplace.

Despite this being the case, women are still saying that there isn’t enough understanding or support from their employer when they are going through the menopause.

A recently launched survey by Gen-M found that

  • 90% of women surveyed felt that their symptoms were having a negative impact on their work – difficulty concentrating, hot flushes, a lack of confidence in their ability, fatigue, forgetfulness, bran fog and anxiety.
  • Those whose career was on a high when they started the Perimenopause were the most underprepared for it (90%) and knew the least about it (83%).
  • Over half the career women said that the Perimenopause made them feel invisible.
  • Only 1 in 5 women felt that their employer was well informed on the impact of the menopause, and 88% said it would be beneficial if workplaces were better set up to support menopausal women.

This all leads to menopausal women feeling unsupported at work, struggling with their symptoms whilst working and concerned for their job security.

Many women also leave jobs because they find it difficult to cope at work due to the side effects they are experiencing.

This makes it very clear that there needs to be more support for menopausal women in the workplace.

Everyone’s menopause experience will be different, some may notice no change in their bodies or emotions, where others will notice big changes and experience distressing side effects. Whatever your experience, there are lots of things that you can do personally to cope through your menopause at work:

Speak to your manager/HR about their menopause policy

  • Look into your HR policy on support through the menopause, ask them what support is available to you.
  • Ask them if they offer any support or training for staff and managers.
  • Look into options for working at home – certain days/all the time
  • Be honest with your manager/HR if you are struggling. They may be able to make adjustments to shifts, working hours or workload for a while for you. If you don’t tell them that you are struggling, then they won’t know.

 Talk to someone you trust so they can support you.

  • By telling someone in the company that you trust it will be easier to explain what you are going through, which saves the worry and anxiety of having to cover it up all the time. That could be HR, your manager, a colleague.

Coping with symptoms at work:

Obviously not everyone will experience side effects, but if you do it can be difficult to hide them at work. There are a few things you can do to minimise symptoms or work around them.

  • Notice when you seem to feel your symptoms the most, is it specific times of day? Think about if you can work around them – if you work flexibly can you start work later if you feel worse in a morning. If you have regular hours, try to schedule your easier tasks for when you feel worse.
  • Try to book meetings at times of the day where you feel better (try to notice patterns of when you feel more tired/more anxious/have hot flushes so you can avoid those times)
  • Create a to do list at the start of the day to help you stay focused and ensure you don’t forget things if brain fog is an issue.
  • If you travel a lot for work make sure you plan in breaks, and if you are in an office maybe use your lunch hour to pop out for some fresh air or a rest in your car or a meeting room.
  • Take regular breaks where possible and ask your manager if you can have more regular breaks.
  • If you are having hot flushes there are a few things you could do - ask for a desk fan, wear layers so you can take off/put back on as necessary, take a cooling spray with you to work, and again schedule meetings around the best times of day for you.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as this will help with many of the symptoms.

The research shows that many workplaces are still unprepared for supporting their menopausal workforce. Everyone can help their manager and colleagues understand what they and many other colleagues are going through.

If your company is not supportive of what you are going through, they maybe don’t understand exactly what the side effects of the menopause are, how debilitating they are and the emotional impact the menopause can have.

You could provide them with some information on the menopause and symptoms, so they have a better understanding and can better support all their employees. There are lots of amazing websites, podcasts, webinars, training, etc that they can access to increase their understanding and improve their menopause support.

If you would like more support through your menopause, my Menopause Positivity Planner is a unique support resource, that combines coaching exercises and coping strategies with a journal to fully support you through your menopause.

Its purpose is to help you feel happy, in control and able to prioritise what is important to you in what can be a really exciting time of your life, and it is getting 5 star reviews from women who are already using it.

Feedback on the Menopause Positivity Planner

Mrs S

I wanted this positivity planner for my daughter who is suffering from the unpleasant effects of the Menopause. She is juggling running a business, running a home and managing her family whilst suffering insomnia and hot flushes and night sweats which are the unpleasant side effects of this period of life that affects most of us females.

This lovely little book by Sarah Banks is a game changer and I cannot wait to give it to my daughter. The book is laid out so well and I know it’s positive approach to the menopause along with all the various tips, planners, guidance and sound common sense is going to be so well received. This book is a must for anyone who is approaching or going through the menopause. Five stars.

Anonymous

This is a really good idea for any woman who is going through the menopause.

It enables you to feel like you’re taking a bit of control back and helped me chart whether any supplements or changes of diet had any effect on my symptoms.


It’s well laid out and filled with tips and helpful advice.


With the inevitable brain fog this really helps when seeking medical advice, you can easily refer back to inform your doctor of your range of symptoms and how often/severe they are.



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