It’s Not Just Women’s Business!

Menopause at Workplace

The menopause often occurs at an important point in a woman’s career this huge hormonal upheaval. This can be experienced during perimenopause and menopause and can affect how women handle work, relationships with colleagues and general workplace stress arising from deadlines and office politics.

To add to this, women are usually wearing so many hats and they are dealing with everyday life challenges, juggling the kids, responsibilities of extended family or a partner, social stresses, no wonder things can go a bit haywire, and symptoms often go unrecognized or the connection to menopause is made.

Women are working later in life more than ever before, and many are going through their menopause during their working lives. The menopause remains an overlooked issue in organisations but with some practical changes and emotional support in place women can continue enjoying a fulfilling career.

So how do we get the support in the workplace and how do women approach the subject with manager and get the adjustments implemented?

Mentioning the word menopause has always been associated with shame and embracement and aging, I could go on. However, we all should remember that this is a natural human biological process that all women and men (yes, they have their own challenges) go through.

The symptoms of women can be so intrusive they can lead to a real lack of confidence and anxiety. Women can often become less engaged at work, left feeling dissatisfied with their job performance, and lead to lower levels of commitment to projects due the fear of lack of concentration, lack of energy and the feeling of letting colleagues down.

Brain fog for many women and the cognitive changes seem to have the biggest impact on home and working environment. Concentration, memory problems, forgetting people’s names, searching for words and inability to think clearly are classic symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause due to lower oestrogen and testosterone. It can feel like you are losing your mind at times and can be a challenge with a demanding job.

Only half of women disclose the real reasons for absence to their line managers, when taking time off work to deal with their symptoms, because they feel embarrassed to ask for help.

In recent years more organisations are finally paying attention and putting in place a menopause policy to ensure the health and safety of all employees. Employers are now waking up and realising that if the menopause is handled correctly and sensitively it helps to reduce absenteeism and keeps professional experienced women in the workplace.

It is important to be aware that the menopause is a natural and temporary stage in women’s lives and that not all women experience significant symptoms. The menopause has been regarded as a taboo subject. This is changing as employers are gradually acknowledge the potential impact of the menopause on women and become aware of the simple steps, they can take to be supportive.

If you are an Employer or a fellow employee do check out my next blog which explains what you should do to support a female employee or co—worker.

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