To mark World Menopause Day on 18 October 2020, we asked Julie, our menopause workshop facilitator to share her top 5 tips for Managing Menopause at Work. Julie is a menopause coach and trainer who delivers our ‘Understanding Menopause’ and ‘Menopause for Managers’ workshops.
Develop a menopause policy or guidance document to inform leaders, managers and employees alike of your company’s approach to menopause related issues. However, bear in mind that whilst a well written policy or guidance document is an integral part of best practice, without the underpinning culture they lack value and don’t drive change.
Make menopause an inclusive topic. Training leaders and providing support for those experiencing symptoms isn’t enough. Men-only workshops are becoming more commonplace too – often at the request of employees. Men are keen to discuss how to support partners, parents and colleagues and benefit from the opportunity of shared experience. Living with someone who’s struggling with poor sleep, anxiety and mood swings isn’t easy! The impact of strained relationships at home can easily spill into the workplace and it’s important to invite everyone into the menopause conversation.
Try to accommodate any changes women request
Reasonable adjustments need to be tailored to address the barriers experienced specifically by individuals and should be identified through discussions with the individual, their manager / team leader and if necessary other relevant parties such as Occupational Health. Desk fans, agile working and access to quiet rooms can make a real difference to office based workers. But they’re not particularly helpful for colleagues who travel between client sites, work shifts or wear heavy PPE.
Assign some Menopause Champions. Their role can be a straightforward information hub, or they can play an integral part in informing your future menopause strategy. However, Champions are typically passionate about their topic and it’s important boundaries are set around accessibility, availability and longevity of the position. And you don’t have to call your menopause champions ‘champions!’ I’ve found that some groups prefer an alternative title. This could be allies, ambassadors, leads, menopause hub or something else!
Watch your language. Not everyone who has a womb, periods or menopause is a woman and not every woman has a womb, periods or menopause. Take care with the language you use when you’re talking about menopause and make it a more inclusive topic for all employees.
To find out more about our Menopause at Work workshops and webinars, click here.