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Menopause at work

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Menopause at work

The Department for Education has published a report that looks at the effects of the menopause on working women.

Hot flushes, insomnia and fatigue are just some of the symptoms. But the report highlights that lower productivity, reduced job satisfaction and problems with time management are all possibly consequences. It says that women sometimes hide or manage their symptoms to avoid letting others at work know that they are having difficulties, and they may not ask for support.

And the work environment can, in some cases, exacerbate problems; heat or poor ventilation, formal meetings, and deadlines are cited as some of the potentially aggravating factors. Women also allude to a lack of sympathy from those around them at work, and even poor treatment because of gendered ageism.

So what can employers do? Recommendations include changing organisational cultures; compulsory equality and diversity training; specialist advice; tailored absence policies; flexible working patterns for mid-life women; and fairly low-cost environmental changes. Particular things that may help include providing:

  • fans and good ventilation
  • cold drinking water
  • lighter, non-synthetic uniforms
  • quiet rest areas
  • access to natural light.

You’ll find the full report here.