Almost half (49%) of women aged 45-plus are uncomfortable discussing menopausal symptoms with their line manager, a white paper has revealed.
Pause for Thought: Reflecting on the Menopause in the Workplace further found that a similar number (47%) of female workers experiencing the menopause did not feel supported.
Commissioned by DAPS Agency and Perspectus Global, the report highlighted that fewer than two in five (37%) managers had menopause training offered at work, with more than one in four (27%) admitting to being shocked when a staff member revealed they were experiencing menopausal symptoms. A similar percentage claimed they didn’t know what action to take, while 16% didn’t believe the individual, 9% thought they were making a fuss about nothing and 8% ignored the complainant.
Pat Duckworth, founder of Smarter Menopause, author and women’s health strategist, said: “Research has shown that women who feel they can openly speak to their bosses about what they are going through are less likely to take sick leave, more likely to have better relationships with colleagues, and achieve higher morale overall.
“In my experience – and it’s also the recommendation of many bodies such as BOHRF (British Occupational Health Research Foundation) – menopause training for managers is vital, so that they are aware of how the symptoms can affect working women and what adjustments may be necessary to support them. Women employees may also need menopause training so that they can take action to mitigate their symptoms and advocate for the help they need.”
The research revealed that nearly one in five people (19%), including 25% of men and 12% of women, admit not knowing anything about the menopause. More than one in five (21%) have no knowledge of when menopause may start, while a similar percentage of 18-24 year-olds don’t know what the symptoms are.
Additionally, three in five (61%) of women aged 45-plus believe the term “menopausal” is frequently used in an insulting way.
Emma Freivogel, co-founder and CEO of Radical Recruit, said: “Organisations should raise awareness through workshops, internal campaigns, and online resources. It is essential to create safe spaces for open dialogue among women, while also ensuring the availability of trained individuals who can offer support and find solutions. By normalising conversations about menopause, these discussions become essential and commonplace for all staff, irrespective of their health condition or situation.”
Nina Kuypers, founder of Black Women in Menopause, added: “Recognising the intersectionality of menopause and race/ethnicity contributes to building an inclusive workplace.”