Find out how you can help to open up the conversation on the menopause in your organisations and remove the stigma that continues around it.

What is the menopause? 

The menopause is a completely natural phase of a woman’s life. Unfortunately, it is also one that continues to carry embarrassment and stigma around it.

The way women experience the menopause is uniquely individual. For example, the average age for women to begin to experience symptoms is around 50 but this is not always the case and for some it may begin in their 20s and 30s.

And the individual response doesn’t end there.

The most ‘talked about’ symptoms include hot flushes, low mood and sleep problems amongst others. Broadly accepted that while around 80% of women will experience all, or some, of these there are many other ways in which the menopause impacts women.

As a result, it’s crucial for women, their friends, family and as employers we understand and adopt the support tools and resources available.

What can this mean in the workplace?  

In 2019 UK research showed that women over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the workforce so now is the time to get this right. Reflecting on this Director of CIPD Ireland, Mary Connaughton, talked about how the menopause has a real impact on women’s careers:

'We know that for every ten women experiencing menopausal symptoms, six of those say it has a negative impact on their work. Many women will continue to suffer in silence unless we break the taboo and start talking openly about the menopause at work'.

And in 2020 we know that this situation continues

We recognise that sometimes it can be hard to know where to start as employers to drive positive conversations around this subject and create even more inclusive working environments.

To help we recommend visiting CIPD’s Let’s Talk Menopause guide where you’ll find a range of practical information and guides to help support you in creating a menopause friendly workplace.

Removing the stigma

We started this article by saying that stigma and embarrassment still surrounds the subject of the menopause for women both personally and in the workplace.

Whether it’s something you’re currently working through yourself, or you know a family member, friend or work colleague who is, in taking the time to read and engage with the resources available you are helping to remove that stigma.

We would encourage you to take this World Menopause Day 2021 as an opportunity to start, or continue, the conversation with those around you. In supporting yourself and others we can all make our personal and working lives that much better. 

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.