Menopause isn’t something which people should be afraid to speak about openly, but, according to a recent article, experts have said that employers should be doing more to ‘normalise’ conversations about menopause within the workplace.
A recent survey, which was conducted by the BBC, found that 70% of respondents did not let their boss know that they are experiencing symptoms. However, some businesses have brought in a menopause-specific policy, but this is still an off-limits conversation to many others.
Louise Newson, GP and menopause expert stated that it was a “silent issue for too many organisations”.
Even though the menopause affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, it does come along with many symptoms such as poor sleep, anxiety, poor memory and hot flushes. However, experts have said that employers don’t need to make costly adjustments. Instead, it had been advised that they should let their employees have flexible working hours while having a fan on their desk or even next to the window could also help.
Professor Amanda Griffiths, who is a psychologist who specialises in mid-life and older people’s health in the workplace, said:
“Employers can help by communicating to their workforce that health-related problems such as the menopause are normal.
“I have heard of cases where women have not admitted the cause of their problems until matters have reached disciplinary stages at work.”
This survey, which was carried out by the BBC, asked 1,009 women who were aged between 50 to 60 how their experience of the menopause had affected their work as well as their relationship, and what their symptoms and treatment were.
The poll, which was conducted by Comres for BBC Radio Sheffield and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, found that 70% of women did not let their employer know that they were experiencing any kind of symptoms, while nearly a third said they had not visited their doctor.
Nearly half of participants said that the menopause had affected their mental health in some way, while a quarter stated that it made them want to stay at home!
At the moment, it is often thought of as a silent issue, and not enough is being done in many organisations. It is important for employees to speak freely about their menopause symptoms and to be able to confide in their manager or boss if they aren’t feeling well enough to be at work without the fear of being judged.
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