If you were tuned into Radio 2 last week you would have heard a discussion about the impact of Menopause on women and how this in turn affects their work. The BBC has conducted research that shows that 70% of women do not tell their employer that they are experiencing symptoms relating to menopause yet the impact of these symptoms can be significant.
There are now more women in the workplace than ever and when we couple that with the fact that the workforce is aging this is clearly something that needs to be addressed. Many women choose not to speak out for fear of age based or sex based discrimination and suffer alone.
Menopause is a taboo subject which we tend not to discuss however the study calls for such discussions around menopause to be normalised, allowing employees to be open and for employers to support. Managers need to create environments which foster open dialogue between employees and their managers which are confidential and supportive. Regular one to one conversations with employees are perfect ways to encourage this dialogue and identify how you can support. Of course some women will not want to share this however employers need to be open enough that if they choose to do so, they can do confidently.
You can read the BBC Report HERE.
So how can you support a woman going though menopause?
- Be flexible, every woman will be different so understand what symptoms each individual is experiencing and consider ways that you can help.
- Conduct return to work interviews when an employee is off work sick so you can understand why they were sick and how you can help.
- Use Occupational Health where appropriate to provide physical and emotional support.
As a progressive HR company we are currently updating our handbooks for all our clients to include menopause specific policies. We also work with clients to provide specific training on handling sensitive topics such as health related sickness.
If you have any questions relating to this topic or any other employment matter please let us know!
If you are a client of HR2day we will be in touch soon to brief you on your handbook updates, if you are not a client but want to be ahead of the game with how you support your people contact us on 01325 288299 to discuss how we can help keep your staff at work, productive and happy.