How to support menopausal experience

In a recent US survey , nearly half the working women aged 45 to 60 found managing menopausal symptoms in their work life was extremely or somewhat difficult.
Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55 and may result in a variety of symptoms lasting from four to eight years. 36% of female staff at the University are aged over 50 years.

Organisations are increasingly showing concern for the health and wellbeing of employees. However, it has been reported that specific and comprehensive knowledge that can guide employers on how best to support the menopausal experience is lacking and HR staff and managers are underprepared, even unskilled, in supporting mature women.

A study of female employees at three Australian universities found the more frequently women experienced menopause-related symptoms, the less engaged they felt at work, less satisfied with their job, less committed to the organisation they work for, and with a greater intention to quit their job.

Recent work in the UK suggests managers should:

  • Be aware of how the menopause can affect working women
  • Have a positive attitude to the issue
  • Allow flexibility of working hours and working arrangements
  • Ensure women face no detriment in for example taking time off for their health and wellbeing
  • Consider workplace issues such as temperature, ventilation and access to cold water as a means of supporting a healthy work environment

Resources

Work and the Menopause: A Guide for Managers (BOHRF)

Australasian Menopause Society 

  • Provides educational information for both health professionals and women
  • Links to latest research
  • Information sheets and resources
  • Directory of doctors who specialise in women’s health and menopause

Visit their website

New Zealand Early Menopause Support Group 
Information website, news, links, discussion groups and support group.

Health Navigator: Menopause 
New Zealand not-for-profit health website backed by District Health Boards which provides information and key links.