Almost three-fifths (59%) of female respondents experiencing menopausal symptoms, aged between 45 and 55, state that the menopause has had a negative impact on their experience at work, according to research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The survey of 2,010 female employees between the ages of 45 and 55, including 1,409 who are experiencing menopausal symptoms, also found that, of the respondents affected by the menopause at work, 65% find they are less able to concentrate, 58% believe they experience more stress and 52% state that they are less patient with clients and peers.
Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser at the CIPD, said: “It’s likely that nearly every workplace in the UK has someone experiencing the menopause right now, but many managers are in the dark on how best to support them.
“Rather than it being a workplace taboo, line managers should be ready to treat the menopause like any other health condition and have open, supportive conversations with women in their teams.”
Three in 10 (30%) say they have taken sick leave because of menopausal symptoms; however, 45% did not disclose this to their employer for privacy reasons, while 34% cite that embarrassment prevented them from revealing why they had to take time off. A further third (32%) did not disclose the reason for their sick leave due to having an unsupportive manager.
Female respondents feel more supported by their colleagues (48%) when going through the menopause than by their manager (32%).
Suff added: “Our guidance shows that if employers create a culture where everyone can talk openly about health issues, such as the menopause, women are much more likely to feel confident about asking for the support they need to be effective in their role.
“Managers also need to work closely with their HR teams to understand what simple, practical adjustments can be made to help women feel more comfortable and able to manage their work.”