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CIPD Launches Menopause Resources for Managers

Going through the menopause can be challenging enough without having to deliver presentations, meet deadlines and manage a team as well, especially when you’re getting little or no support from your manager.

After carrying out research that found more than half (59 per cent) of 45 to 55-year-olds experiencing menopause have noticed an impact their work, the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) has launched a new range of resources for managers and HR professionals, as it aims to end the stigma surrounding menopause in the workplace for good.

How Menopause is Affecting Women in the Workplace

The CIPD teamed up with YouGov to survey 1,409 working women who are going through the menopause, finding that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) have had their ability to concentrate at work affected by their symptoms, while 58 per cent have felt more stressed in the workplace since first experiencing menopause symptoms.

In addition, 52 per cent of women said they’d felt less patient with colleagues and clients as a result of menopause symptoms, yet 48 per cent reported feeling better supported by their colleagues than by management (32 per cent).

In fact, 30 per cent of women going through menopause said they’d had to take sick leave because of their symptoms, but one-quarter didn’t feel able to tell their manager why, due to feeling it was private (45 per cent), because of embarrassment (34 per cent) or due to feeling their manager was unsupportive (32 per cent).

Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser at the CIPD, commented: “It’s likely that nearly every workplace in the UK has someone experiencing the menopause right now, but many managers are in the dark on how best to support them.

“Rather than it being a workplace taboo, line managers should be ready to treat the menopause like any other health condition and have open, supportive conversations with women in their teams.

“If employers create a culture where everyone can talk openly about health issues, such as the menopause, women are much more likely to feel confident about asking for the support they need to be effective in their role.”

New Menopause Resources from the CIPD

The CIPD has launched a collection of guides for HR and management teams with the aim of raising awareness of menopause and breaking down the stigma that can still surround it in the workplace, so leaders can better understand how to support women in their workforce.

These recommendations include simple steps such as providing access to desk fans to help with hot flushes, and allowing more flexible working hours so that women can adjust their schedules if they are experiencing difficulty sleeping in menopause - something that can be a common symptom.

Other measures suggested by the CIPD include allowing women to adapt their uniforms to improve their comfort levels, and letting them take more comfort breaks.

Dealing with Menopause at Work: Advice for Women

If your workplace has not yet introduced a dedicated menopause policy, speak to the HR department and highlight the new CIPD resources to them, as this could help you to get on the way to receiving the support and understanding you need.

Little things like a desk fan and the opportunity to adjust your working hours could help towards managing some of your symptoms, but you may find yourself needing extra support too.

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