Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

22nd Jun, 2023

Victoria Sartain
Victoria Sartain
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

For many women with busy lives managing multiple tasks around home and work, menopause can arrive without any obvious signs. Symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, and mood swings can be easily passed off as the general toll of daily life – and few want to admit they have reached a stage that has been so ridiculed and stigmatised in the past. 

For those just reaching perimenopause, many won’t remember their mothers ever complaining of symptoms or making any fuss – those were the days when menopause was hushed up and endured. This is why some menopausal women have a reluctance to talk about their experiences now, but current research and development is set to give this under-researched condition a boost – with future generations of women sure to benefit.  

In workplaces, women are finally being encouraged to share their experiences through open discussion, shaping menopause policies and changing perceptions around this sensitive issue.

Menopause survey results

In June 2023, Reed conducted a snap survey of 1,000 employed women in the UK, aged 45-54, who are experiencing the menopause, to find out what their employers currently offered in terms of menopause support and what they felt they needed to be more comfortable in the workplace.

When questioned whether they felt their symptoms affect them at work physically, 74% agreed – while a shocking 77% said they felt their symptoms impact them mentally.

Forty-two per cent state they are not comfortable talking to their employer about menopause, suggesting more needs to be done to support workers. According to the survey, 46% of people said their employer does not have a menopause policy in place, while 28% didn’t know.  

These statistics show the scale of doubt and uncertainty among workers and indicate how much employers need to do to instil confidence. 

Menopause support at work

For years, a lack of information and stigma around the subject meant women suffered in silence with symptoms they didn’t understand or chalked up as general midlife deterioration – barely worth bothering the doctor with. It is only now, as a result of the work of campaigners and charities, that a shift is taking place in attitudes and we’re seeing greater understanding and appreciation of this life stage.

Open conversations are beginning to happen in workplaces to help normalise the topic – according to our survey, almost a third (32%) of women feel comfortable talking to their employer about menopause and how it affects their work – but there is still a long way to go. Discussion can help prevent discrimination, which can arise when women feel compromised by their symptoms and at times unable to perform in their roles as a result.

A culture change is at the heart of supporting employees through menopause, which will not happen overnight. However, some things can be improved more quickly.

Focus on creating a working environment that openly normalises menopause, encourages open conversation and is proactive in the creation and use of a dedicated menopause policy. Clear signposting to information and services is vital.

Get our free menopause eBook

Our eBook, ‘Menopause: how to support your employees’, provides insight from experts in the field, covering how menopause can affect individuals mentally and physically in the workplace, and how employers can look to provide support:

  • What is menopause? 

  • Who is affected by menopause and when? 

  • What are the symptoms? 

  • What are the current treatments? 

  • How should we discuss menopause in the workplace? 

  • Impact of menopause in the workplace 

  • How to support menopausal employees 

  • Where to signpost employees for help and support 

  • What should menopause policies include? 

  • Showing you care: organisational commitment 

  • How else can employers support their staff? 

We hope you’ll find 'Menopause: how to support your employees' a useful tool to help with improving the working lives of your employees – raising standards, confidence and dignity.  

Menopause: how to support your employees