Women in the Workplace During Menopause

Breaking the Stigma: How Occupational Health Can Support Women in the Workplace During Menopause

On International Women’s Day, it’s important to remember that every woman’s experience is unique. While the #MeToo movement has brought much-needed attention to workplace harassment and discrimination, there’s still a lot of progress to be made in terms of inclusivity and support for women at all stages of their careers. This is especially true for women going through menopause, who often face unique challenges both at work and at home.

Fortunately, there are steps that employers and occupational health specialist nurses can take to support women during this time. By increasing awareness and understanding of the menopause, we can help break the stigma around this natural life event and make sure that women have the resources they need to stay healthy and productive at work.

The menopause is a natural process

International Women’s Day is a powerful reminder of just how much women endure throughout their lives and of the achievements we can make by working together in support of one another. The menopause is a natural process that all women go through, yet it can be incredibly challenging – both physically and emotionally – for many of us. By understanding more about the needs of employees going through this life change, employers can ensure that workplaces are supporting and accommodating them properly. Occupational Health can provide information and guidance on menopausal issues in the workplace to help employers create policies that assist their female workers during this important time. Working collaboratively with employers to address good health and well-being practices within the workplace is essential to creating an environment where everyone feels supported.

Common Symptoms

It is important to remember that the right support and knowledge can make a huge difference when it comes to managing menopause symptoms in the workplace. Hot flushes, night sweats, and fatigue are just some of the physical symptoms that may present during the menopausal transition, in addition to emotional distress such as anxiety and low mood. For female employees experiencing these symptoms both at work and at home, having occupational health advisors who understand their needs can make all the difference in helping them feel supported. By establishing effective management systems and promoting the normalization of menopausal transitions in the workplace through awareness campaigns, employers can take great strides to ensure that female employees have a safe working environment.

Common Physical Symptoms to name just a few are:-

• Hot flushes

• Night sweats

• Fatigue

• Irregular periods

• Weight gain

• Vaginal dryness/atrophy

Common Emotional Symptoms but not limited to these are:-

• Anxiety

• Low mood

• Stress and irritability

• Poor concentration

• Lack of motivation

It is helpful if you are able to keep a journal or tracker of your symptoms. This can provide a useful tool to start a conversation, and a useful comprehensive assessment to measure changes over time.

SKC Occupational Health Hub has developed an online menopausal symptom assessment tool to support our clinical practice when assisting women to manage their menopause optimally at work – do get in touch via our contact portal if you’d like to know more about tracking symptoms.

Some women suffer in silence because of the stigma surrounding the menopause.

It’s important to recognize the issues many women face in the workplace, and for employers to commit to supporting their female employees through the menopause. Unfortunately, many women who experience symptoms find that they have no choice but to ‘suffer in silence’ due to the stigma surrounding this natural process. Occupational health practitioners can offer invaluable advice and guidance on lifestyle changes and treatments that could help women manage their symptoms without impacting their work. They can also give guidance on different approaches to start having these conversations with your employer.

It is also essential for employers to create a work environment and culture in which women feel comfortable discussing their health needs and be aware of any reasonable adjustments that need to be implemented. As a manager, you can lean into the guidance and expertise your Occupational Health team has to support you in handling these conversations in the best way. By leading by example and showing understanding and compassion, it is possible to actively create workplaces that support all women.

Occupational health can provide information and advice on managing symptoms.

In some areas in the UK, it can be challenging to get a doctor’s appointment. Occupational health specialists can play a particularly important role by providing evidence-based information and providing clinical support to their female clients during the menopause. During this time, women can experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms which can make it difficult for them to manage both their work life and personal life. As such, occupational health can provide much-needed advice and guidance on how best to cope with these symptoms. Occupational health specialist nurses have a unique and wide range of knowledge about health and the workplace. They can offer practical suggestions you may have not thought of. They can share the latest research and insights to offer bespoke support and advice.

Employers also have a responsibility to support employees during the menopause.

Employers have a wide range of legal responsibilities to ensure an inclusive work environment for all their employees. Within the UK, employers have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities or impairments, which can include symptoms related to the menopause.

So, it is important for employers to take time to consider how they can best support their employees during this time. This could involve providing access to occupational health services, offering flexible working options, or even holding awareness sessions for managers about how to sensitively support female employees. Occupational health has an opportunity here to help employers create an environment that is more inclusive and supportive for all workers. An atmosphere of acceptance and understanding can go a long way toward helping women continue working throughout this difficult time. Where employees can openly discuss their needs and concerns without feeling judged or embarrassed.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness

International Women’s Day is an important chance to recognise the strides that have been made to support women in the workplace, but also acknowledge how much further we must go. For anyone going through the menopause at any age, it can be a really daunting experience with physiological symptoms as well as emotional ones. Occupational Health can provide both physical and mental health support to women who are in the middle of this transition, making sure that they don’t feel vulnerable or alone while they’re going through a difficult change. It’s vital that employers acknowledge the need for these services and make them available so that employees are able to manage any issues associated with this, ultimately leading to an improved quality of life and job satisfaction. On International Women’s Day, let’s definitely remember to celebrate progress but also don’t forget to check in on those who may be struggling, your employers and occupational health specialists should be there for them every step of the way.

Psst .. a word for the men

It’s important to remember that during the menopause, the men in our lives want to support us, but often don’t know how. Some men may use work as a strategy to stay away from the challenges at home. Men can, and should, reach out for support as well – again through Occupational Health or other medical professionals. As always the NHS website section on the menopause is a good source of information. You may also want to check out the menopause charity for a range of topics such as relationships and asking the GP for help. 

Su Chantry – Menopause Specialist 

Su Chanty is proud to announce that she has completed the British Menopause Society Foundation Certificate for nurses. She is able to advise on current guidance and aspects of a woman’s journey through the menopause. Su is able to support HR managers develop a menopause policy. This may be by providing seminar sessions on managing the many aspects related to menopause. Or assisting employers to develop a menopause champions/well-being strategy. Plus, Su can guide and support individuals during a one-to-one consultation via manager referrals. Su has close links with other local specialists and educators, both Private and within the NHS. SO at Su Chantry Occupational Health, we are able to offer a complete advisory service tailored to the individual. 

Get in touch

Hello and Welcome to my blog

I’m Su

I am the Founder and Clinical Director of SKC Occupational Health. Any opportunity to discuss workplace health I grasp it as I am passionate about occupational health and the value it has in business.

Beyond the variety that occupational health and wellbeing offers me in my work, just being able to keep people well is a reward. 

Workplace health is one that is so critical, especially because most people spend most of their life at work. Good work is beneficial to health. 

I can help people with that …

Seen In


Workplace Health






Learn more about what we do and how we do it, 

get  in touch.

If you have any questions or want to make an enquiry about any of our services please fill out the form and send it in to us.

We are a small business but we aim to get back to you within 1-2 business days.

Thanks Su

Office Hours:

Monday to Thursday // 9 am-5 pm

Friday // 9 am -1 pm

Contact Number: 01235 606080