Women demand employer support to work through menopause

menopause at workResearch commissioned by Gympass  claims that many women are struggling to work through menopause, with empathy and support at the office in short supply. According to the survey, 81 percent of the women aged 45-64  say their employer doesn’t provide help and 66 percent didn’t feel able to speak to their boss about the challenges they face at work.

Despite the huge rise in awareness and waves of public support, a stigma remains around menopause in the workplace. The survey claims that 45 percent of perimenopausal and menopausal employed women aged 45-64 have felt embarrassed by their symptoms at work and a third of women have pretended their symptoms were something else at work to avoid mentioning their menopause by name.

The  symptoms most frequently experienced at work are hot flushes (66 percent), fatigue (55 percent), ‘brain fog’/confusion (51 percent) and anxiety (47 percent). Debilitating in themselves, feeling these symptoms in the workplace can seriously impact women’s experience and enjoyment of work. Around 56 percent said that stress at work makes menopause symptoms worse, leaving women in a vicious circle.

Almost a fifth of women have left a meeting or another room at work due to their menopause symptoms, and a quarter have taken time off.

Listen to our discussion Sally Gunnell and Kate Usher on the subject of wellbeing and the menopause here.