Raising awareness on Menopause

Mireille Burge, HR Manager at City Group Security, highlights the importance of raising awareness in the workplace to support everyone dealing with Menopause.

Menopause is a natural stage in life that brings significant internal and external changes. This period can impact personal and work-life balance and relationships. Understanding the risks associated with menopause is crucial for leaders and individuals to navigate this stage effectively.

Menopause primarily stems from hormonal fluctuations that can lead to physical symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and decreased energy levels. These changes can affect a woman’s overall well-being, potentially impacting her personal life and productivity at work if not supported with a robust framework. Menopause can bring about challenges such as decreased fertility and changes in physical appearance, which may impact self-esteem and confidence in both personal and professional settings. The need to manage these external changes while maintaining a work-life balance can be a significant struggle for many experiencing menopause.

Menopause also affects transgender individuals in different ways depending on their medical history and current hormone therapy. For transgender women (assigned male at birth), hormone therapy can potentially help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood changes. On the other hand, transgender men (assigned female at birth) may experience menopausal symptoms once they stop testosterone therapy, including hot flashes and changes in mood and libido. Transgender individuals need to work closely with healthcare providers who understand their unique needs during menopause and that they receive the same support as other colleagues.

In the workplace, females may face unique challenges during menopause, including difficulties concentrating, memory issues, and increased stress levels. Employers can implement adjustments such as flexible working hours, access to counselling services, and ergonomic workstations to support women going through this phase. Creating a supportive environment that acknowledges the impact of menopause on work performance is essential for ensuring female employees feel understood and valued.

Men also have a significant role in supporting women during menopause. By understanding the physical and emotional changes women experience, men can provide better support to their partners, mothers, daughters, friends, and colleagues. This understanding fosters a more empathetic and inclusive environment for women navigating this transition, and it’s a responsibility we all share.

At home, the impact of menopause can extend beyond the individual experiencing it to affect family dynamics and relationships. Women can support their well-being by practising self-care activities, seeking medical advice when needed, and openly communicating with their loved ones about their needs during this time. By raising awareness about menopause within their social circles, women can help reduce stigma and foster a supportive network of understanding and empathy.

Companies can actively support colleagues through menopause by establishing policies and procedures, toolbox talks, and networking groups that educate leaders on assisting and guiding women in this stage of life. By promoting a culture of openness and support, businesses can create an environment where women feel comfortable discussing their menopausal symptoms and accessing the necessary resources to manage them effectively.

Businesses like City Group Security, which has conducted research, suggest that female-majority boards bring a unique perspective to addressing medical challenges such as menopause. Women in leadership positions are more likely to advocate for policies and initiatives that prioritise women’s health and well-being, including support systems for menopausal employees. Having diverse leadership teams that reflect the experiences of all employees is not just beneficial; it’s crucial for more comprehensive and inclusive approaches to addressing menopause-related issues in the workplace.

The impacts of menopause on personal and work-life balance are significant, yet women navigate this transitional period with resilience and grace. By raising awareness, fostering understanding, and implementing supportive measures at home and in the workplace, we can all contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Photo Credits: Mireille Burge, HR Manager at City Group Security

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About the Author: Michael O'Sullivan