It’s high time we addressed the ‘hot topic’ of menopause in the workplace

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As summer progresses, we’re keen to urge employers to address the serious issue of menopause in the workplace.

When it comes to subjects to shy away from in the office, the menopause will more than likely be at the top of the list for many.

But research shows that high numbers of women are considering handing in their notice due to the impact of the menopause on their lives. So it’s high time to give the once-taboo subject time and a place in company policies.

Figures suggest that a staggering seven million women of menopausal or perimenopausal age are currently working in the UK.

According to a survey at the end of last year* of more than 2000 working women aged between 40 and 60, a worrying 23 per cent considered quitting their job as a result of feeling unsupported at work.

In addition, Research from Bupa has shown that almost a million women have left their jobs because of menopausal symptoms, while CIPD research shows that around one in six people (17 per cent) have considered leaving work due to a lack of support in relation to their menopause symptoms.

We’re leading the call locally for a better understanding and management of menopause in the workplace.

Managing Director Nel Woolcott says: “These figures show that many women continue to suffer in silence until it’s too late. For those who are impacted by the effects and symptoms of the menopause, it can be a lonely, embarrassing and confusing time in their lives.

“Not everyone wants to share their feelings of anxiety over meeting a new client or talk about the hot flushes felt while presenting to members of the company board. However, these can be real scenarios which many women find difficult to talk about, for fear of being ridiculed or not taken seriously.

“While every workplace has to recognise and act upon the legal rights of women in pregnancy, the menopause is a seldom-discussed workplace matter, and yet it’s something that negatively affects hundreds of thousands of women every year.”

Menopause typically affects women aged between 45 and 55. Recent studies show that the 50-60 age bracket of those in employment is the fastest-growing age group, in part a result of the trend towards an ageing population.

Research has also shown that lack of sleep and other menopausal symptoms can lead to sickness and absenteeism, impacting not only on the individual, but their company as a whole.

Nel adds: “Employers should and can take steps to ensure that women going through the menopause continue to feel valued and supported.

“After all, many of these members of staff may have been with their companies for years. We would really encourage line managers to keep the lines of communication open and empathise with what is effectively a health condition.”

Line managers play a vital role in supporting colleagues with menopausal symptoms:

  • Be confident about your role in managing and supporting colleagues with menopausal symptoms.
  • Understand and reduce the barriers that could potentially prevent a colleague going through the menopause transition from performing and/or developing to their full potential.
  • Identify appropriate workplace changes or adjustments to support team members and help them thrive at work.
  • Encourage and promote an inclusive working environment in which everyone is treated fairly.
  • Encourage women to attend any routine medical appointment and be supportive of any appointment they are seeking to make as a result of their symptoms,

Ingrid Fawcett, co-founder of Midlife360 CIC (a new grassroots social enterprise supporting midlife women in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough) said: “Menopause is for everyone to understand and empathise with, however you identify.

“Many women in perimenopause don’t realise that how they are feeling is just that.

There are 39 menopause symptoms (although some say 62 symptoms) with only a few discussed.

“While the physical symptoms are easier to identify, the mental issues including anxiety, confidence and brain fog are harder to recognise.

“Many women do not wish to be defined by their menopause. Each woman will experience it differently and over a different time period.

“With age comes seniority – losing that knowledge and experience due to lack of understanding of the challenges of menopause is costly and avoidable.”

*Survey by UK workplace-healthcare provider SimplyHealth


Alex Smith

Recruitment Specialist

I’ve worked in recruitment for the same agency for over 12 years, covering finance, office support, construction, and engineering. Temp and perm. Previously, my line of work was within banking and estate agency.
Favourite food: “Curry (Hot)”
Favourite film: “Heat”

Outside of work

“Gym 5 days a week. Home life consists mostly of entertaining a 3 year old! (for clarification – my son)”

Alex on ACR

“Very refreshing to work for a recruitment agency that genuinely care for their candidates and clients”

T: 01733 235298

Sarah-Jane Bond

Recruitment Specialist

I have spent the majority of my career working in Operational and Project Management roles. I first worked with ACR about 25 years ago as a candidate. ACR secured me a role at RNIB, where I stayed for 15 years, finishing as Head of Operations. Recruitment has always been a big part of the roles I have undertaken and is something that I really enjoy. When you match a fantastic candidate with the right client there is no better feeling!
Favourite food: “Has to be any dish from the Mediterranean”
Favourite film: “There are many, love a chick flick, especially ‘The Holiday at Christmas”

Outside of work

“I love socialising with friends, can always squeeze a bit of retail therapy in around volunteering at Deeping Rangers FC, running their hospitality on match days.”

Sarah-Jane on ACR

“I couldn’t have been more delighted when Nel asked me to join the company and have felt at home since day one. They really do care about providing the best service for their clients and candidates, building genuine relationships with both. The team culture is second to none, everyone supporting and looking out for each other. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

T: 01733 235298

Emily Hill

Recruitment Specialist

Emily was a Primary School Teacher for 10 years, before moving into the EdTech space, as a Relationship Specialist for MATs. She joined ACR in July 2023 and particularly thrives when recruiting for Account Management, Customer Service and Sales roles.
Favourite food:
“Spag bol or pizza”
Favourite film:
“The Notebook – or any romantic chick flick really!”

Outside of work

“I have a 1-year-old, so love fun family weekends with my husband and son more than anything. Time socialising with friends and family is where I’m happiest.”

Emily on ACR
“The unique culture, values, and style at ACR is polar opposite to other recruitment agencies and what I believed recruitment was. Having previously been a Relationship Specialist, I feel I’m doing the same thing! No hard sell, we truly care about our candidates and clients, and the team culture is 2nd to none!”
T: 01733 235298

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