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Does Your Workplace Have a Menopause Policy?

Just three per cent of women of menopausal age in the UK know that their workplace has a specific menopause policy in place to support them.

This is one of the findings of a new survey carried out by health and wellbeing tracking firm Forth with Life, which involved 1,000 women aged 45 and over - 77 per cent were either menopausal or post-menopausal.

Menopause in the Workplace: The Reality

It was found that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of menopausal women felt their work had been negatively impacted as a result of menopause, yet only a handful of workplaces have a proper policy in place to provide support to them. This shows that there’s still a long way to go before menopausal women feel fully supported in the workplace.

The survey led to the discovery that only three per cent of line managers had been trained in providing support to women struggling with menopause symptoms, despite 58 per cent of respondents saying they were affected by their symptoms every day.

Overall, 73 per cent of women said they’d experienced hot flushes while at work, 63 per cent struggled with feeling drowsy, 48 per cent suffered from a low mood that affected their performance, 43 per cent had memory problems and 34 per cent struggled with feelings of depression or anxiety. Just six per cent of the women questioned said they had no symptoms whatsoever at work.

Dealing with symptoms of menopause alongside a lack of support in the workplace left 41 per cent of women making more mistakes than usual, while 11 per cent admitted to holding back from putting themselves forward for a promotion and a further 11 per cent reported that this eventually contributed to them leaving their job.

What Support is Provided for Menopausal Women at Work?

Sarah Bolt, founder of Forth with Life, commented: “Workplaces are required by law to offer robust support and forward-thinking policies for pregnant women and employees with chronic illnesses or disabilities, so it’s only natural to assume that the menopause - something that happens to all women once they have passed a particular age - is an issue that most employers have planned for and are able to deal with.”

However, just 28 per cent of the women questioned said their manager had talked them through the options available to support them through the menopause at work, while a further 28 per cent had simply been left to read through their options by themselves in an employee handbook.

Seven per cent of women said help was offered to them when they needed it, but 82 per cent were not offered any at all, which suggests women may need to be more proactive in seeking out their own support in menopause.

Seek the Support You Need in Menopause

Doing your bit to raise awareness of what you’re experiencing by talking more about menopause in the workplace could help your boss to recognise the level of support you need.

You can also take steps to try to manage your symptoms yourself, such as by taking menopause supplements. For example, the Femarelle® supplements that we stock contain an ingredient derived from soy known as DT56a, which can mimic the effects of oestrogen, helping you to feel more like yourself in the workplace, and everywhere else too.

There are other steps you can take as well, such as asking for a fan for your desk if you’re struggling with hot flushes and requesting more flexible working hours if you’re having difficulty sleeping in menopause, so you can make sure you’re presenting the best version of yourself when you’re at work.

For extra support during menopause, wherever you are, try Femarelle® supplements for yourself here.