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World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day - A screenshot from our Menopause Awareness Training course

The 18th October is World Menopause Day, an awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness of the menopause and what adjustments can be made to support those going through it.

With one in six women considering leaving their job in connection to the menopause, there’s much more work to be done in raising awareness and creating a culture that offers menopausal employees more support.

Thankfully, there’s a lot that both employers and employees can do to support those experiencing menopause. And it’s crucial that companies educate their staff on this subject in order for them to offer their support to coworkers that are experiencing symptoms.

Menopause misconceptions

The theme of this year’s World Menopause Day is 'Misinformation and management'. So, we wanted to help crack some common misconceptions about menopause…

Everyone’s experience of menopause is the same

This is simply not true. All women will experience their menopause in different ways and with differing symptoms.

Menopause only affects people older than 45

Menopause can occur at any age. Although the average age of reaching menopause in the UK is 51, it can be very normal for someone in their early 40s to be experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Menopause is only hot flushes

Hot flushes can be a really challenging part of menopause, but this isn’t the case for everybody. It’s important that we don’t make assumptions about what someone is experiencing so we can be flexible in the support that’s provided.

Our menopause stories

Two members of the iHasco team have shared their own personal experiences with menopause…

How has going through the menopause/ peri-menopause affected you at work/home?

“It hasn’t majorly affected me so far, apart from having very irritating dry skin and hot flashes.” - Anon

“I became extra tired both mentally and physically with a shorter fuse and found it more uncomfortable sitting down for longer periods of time. You sort of feel like your body is not your own anymore and it's out of your control.” - Anon

Did your workplace support you during this time of your life?

“My workspace didn’t know, I was embarrassed to say anything.” - Anon

“I found the Menopause Awareness course an eye opener and it made me become more aware of the symptoms and helped me recognise what I was going through so this in itself was a great help. I have also found my work friends really supportive and they helped me recognise what I was going through and what actions I could take to help. It was like a shared problem that needed to be acknowledged and worked on.” - Anon

What more can be done by workplaces to support you and others?

“I guess workplaces need to raise awareness by training which we do. But also make sure it’s a topic that can be discussed openly. The main thing for me is feeling embarrassed about the fact I’m getting older.” - Anon

“Don’t be shy to talk about it openly. Everyone needs to recognise that this is a genuine struggle for many women and may not be a quick fix either.” - Anon

How can businesses offer better support to menopausal employees?

It’s important for all of us to be knowledgeable about the menopause and the impact it has on those experiencing it.

The first step is to understand the menopause; the second is to be comfortable discussing it; the third is to learn what support is available; and finally, the fourth step is to offer or seek support if it’s needed.

Here are a few things employers can do to offer better support to menopausal employees…

Create a positive workplace culture with supportive managers

Line managers should treat the menopause just like they do all other matters connected to employee health and wellbeing. A good people manager is compassionate and able to have sensitive conversations with their team.

Many employees are worried, embarrassed or simply uncomfortable speaking with their line manager or colleagues about the menopause because they’re concerned about the response they’ll get. This can be dramatically improved if your organisation has a positive culture and understanding managers.

It’s also important for managers and team members alike to have good communication skills and emotional intelligence so that both parties have the confidence to speak openly and have the chance to make beneficial changes after the conversation is finished.

Policies

It’s good practice for an organisation to create a policy that everyone gets familiar with. It should cover:

  • What the peri-menoapuse and menopause are, including their symptoms and effects, and common coping strategies that are used to alleviate symptoms
  • How to have a compassionate and confidential conversation with someone who’s raising a concern about their symptoms
  • What support and adjustments can be offered to someone experiencing symptoms
  • The relevant laws surrounding the menopause in connection to work
  • The importance of considerate, approachable managers
  • How sick leave or a dip in job performance will be handled
  • Any information about the post-menopause that’s relevant
  • Any other information that’s relevant to your specific working environment and team
  • The procedure that will be followed if a query or concern is raised or support is requested

It’s best to have a stand alone menopause policy that’s available in a variety of formats and stored in easy-to-access locations, so it’s accessible for everyone. And if a stand alone policy isn’t created, organisations can include this information in an existing health and wellbeing policy instead.

Menopause Awareness Training

Training can help staff to gain a wider understanding of menopause and what can be done to support menopausal employees. It can help them:

  • Understand the biological and physiological elements of menopause
  • Better support colleagues going through menopause
  • Recognise menopausal symptoms in themselves and others
  • Understand treatment options to aid health and wellbeing
  • Foster an empathetic culture that addresses stigmatised attitudes toward menopause

Here at iHasco, we offer an online Menopause Awareness Training course that is suitable for all employees across any industry sector. It aims to help staff gain a better understanding of menopause, what adjustments can be made to support those menopausal employees, and how they can offer support.

Interested in how you can use this course to raise awareness of menopause in your workplace? You can claim a free trial of the course today! Or you can request a bespoke quote and someone will be in touch to discuss your training needs.

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