Supporting Menopause in the Workplace

supporting menopause in the workplace

Hot flashes in the boardroom? Mood swings during deadlines? Brain fog, sleep disruptions? These symptoms aren’t just a personal inconvenience; they’re a reality for millions of women at work.

In fact, in a recent study one-third of women reported experiencing menopausal symptoms that interfere with their work.

And with over 25% of menopause-aged women in the workforce, supporting menopause in the workplace is more than just a trendy topic.

It’s a crucial conversation.

And one that can make a difference for a large portion of your workforce. Supporting employees through all stages of life means a healthy, productive workforce and can solidify a reputation as an employer of choice.  

By creating a supportive work environment that acknowledges and accommodates the needs of women experiencing menopause, employers can also tap into the full potential of women in the prime of their careers, who possess a wealth of knowledge and experience.


By acknowledging that menopause can impact both physical and emotional wellbeing, we can foster a culture where women feel supported to thrive, even on the toughest days.

In this article:  


Understanding Menopause 

To effectively support women during this transition, it’s important to first understand what menopause is and how it can impact their lives.  

Menopause is a natural phase of life that every woman will experience, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. It’s a time of significant change, both physically and emotionally, as the body adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels.  

For many women, the journey towards menopause, known as perimenopause, can also be filled with unexpected and unpleasant symptoms. Hot flashes that strike during important meetings, forgetfulness, disrupted sleep patterns, and mood swings that make it hard to concentrate – are just a few of the challenges women may face in their professional lives. 

But here’s the thing – every woman’s menopause journey is unique. Some may sail through with minimal disruption, while others may feel like they’re on a roller coaster of symptoms. The key is to remember that there’s no one way to experience menopause. Which means it’s essential to create workplaces that are supportive of all journeys. 

So as we create more menopause-friendly workplaces, let’s recognize the diverse range of experiences and cultivate an environment of empathy and understanding. By acknowledging that menopause can impact both physical and emotional wellbeing, we can foster a culture where women feel supported to thrive, even on the toughest days. 

Let’s dive in and explore ways to create workplaces that support wellbeing and play a role in keeping women healthy and productive in this stage of life. 


4 Steps for Supporting Menopause in the Workplace



1. Create supportive menopause policies and accommodation


Offer flexible work arrangements


The stats are clear: 1 in 5 women have considered leaving their jobs due to menopausal symptoms, according to a survey by Biote. And 57% said that when considering job offers, it would be important to them if the company clearly expressed a commitment to support employees with menopause symptoms.

By recognizing that menopausal symptoms can vary in intensity and frequency, offering flexible work supporting menopause in the workplace arrangements can mean the difference between adapting to physical changes or having to let go of their job.  

Policies that support flexible work hours, remote work options, and compressed workweeks allow people to manage their symptoms effectively according to their unique circumstances while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. For those nearing retirement age, phased retirement programs can provide a gradual transition and accommodate changing priorities and energy levels.


Optimize the physical workspace


Small changes in the workspace can make a big difference for someone who is experiencing menopausal symptoms.  

One of the more difficult symptoms is hot flashes. In a LifeSpeak Inc. expert video, “How do I manage hot flashes at work,” Dr. Sophie Grigoriadis, psychiatrist and Head of the Women’s Mood and Anxiety Clinic, offers this suggestion for women who are in the middle of a hot flash at work:  

“If you feel comfortable, you can get up and walk around, go outside the room for some fresh air or go close to a fan or an air conditioning unit. If you’re wearing a sweater, you can take it off. If you’ve got other layers on, you can take those off to feel a bit cooler. If you have a cold drink close by, you can take a sip.”  

Creating cool, well-ventilated workspaces with adjustable temperature controls is crucial to overall comfort. Consider making both desk fans and room fans available. Keeping water available in a nearby fridge or cooler can help. Where possible, normalize taking frequent small breaks, meaning that someone who is feeling too hot can step outside to cool down. 


Provide exercise space


Providing gym access is a powerful move in supporting menopause in the workplace. Exercise can alleviate symptoms, promote wellbeing, and encourage self-care. By offering group classes, on-site facilities or subsidizing memberships, employers demonstrate their commitment to women’s health, leading to improved performance and job satisfaction. 


2. Provide menopause wellness benefits


Offer wellness resources


Menopause can have a profound impact on mental health, with many women experiencing mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Employers can support their employees by offering access to mental health resources to help women manage the emotional challenges of menopause.  

For instance, LifeSpeak Inc. offers over 80 resources for people going through perimenopause and menopause from experts such as Dr. Sophie Grigoriadis, MD, MA, PhD, FRCPC, Head of the Women’s Mood and Anxiety Clinic: Reproductive Transitions at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior, MD, leading endocrinologist and women’s health expert, and more. 

Some resources from the LifeSpeak Inc. menopause library include:  

  • Coping with sleep issues during perimenopause & menopause 
  • How can I develop a better relationship with my body while going through perimenopause and menopause? 
  • How do I manage hot flashes at work? 
  • Perimenopause & menopause: Midlife crisis or new beginning? 
  • Mental health issues related to menopause 

To address physical challenges, offering nutrition education can empower women to make informed choices that help manage their symptoms and maintain energy levels. Sleep seminars can provide valuable strategies for improving rest and reducing fatigue.  

LifeSpeak inc.’s Wellbeats Wellness offers nutrition support with titles like:  

  • What to Eat for Hot Flashes 
  • Optimizing Women’s Hormones 

Wellness benefits that offer low-intensity workouts, breathing exercises, educational material, and mindfulness classes are also a great way to support women’s health through the menopause transition. Wellbeats Wellness also provides a library of helpful resources to support life transitions such as: 

  • Yoga for Self-Care 
  • Mindful Lunch Break Meditation 
  • Anxiety in Women 
  • How to Deal with Rapid Transformational Change


When managers are equipped with the right information and resources, they can be valuable allies in supporting women through this transition.


3. Educate leaders and managers


Educating managers about menopause is a critical step in creating a supportive workplace culture. By providing training on common symptoms and their potential impact on work performance, managers can develop a better understanding of the challenges women may face. This knowledge empowers managers to offer appropriate support and accommodation.  

While not everyone will want to speak openly about it, those that do should feel comfortable discussing their experiences openly with their managers, without fear of judgment or stigma. When managers are equipped with the right information and resources, they can be valuable allies in supporting women through this transition.  

Dr. Grigoriadis points out that managers can play an important role in creating understanding and empathy, “Managers, if they’re educated about what’s going on, will be way more understanding … Women in leadership positions and management positions, for example, might give their female employees an opportunity to talk to them and explain the symptoms that they might be experiencing and then conversely, they might be able to share if they’ve had any similar experiences.” 


4. Destigmatize the experience of menopause


Even though every woman will experience it, menopause remains a taboo topic in many workplaces. Women often feel that their symptoms will be perceived as a sign of weakness or incompetence, leading them to suffer in silence. To create a truly supportive environment, it is essential to normalize the conversation around menopause.  

Three ways to spark discussion around menopause include: 

  • Hosting workshops 
  • Inviting guest speakers 
  • Creating internal support groups 

Workplaces can also take steps to destigmatize menopause by making resources such as educational videos and blogs available and making it clear that those who want to discuss it can do so openly. By breaking down barriers and fostering a culture of openness and understanding, organizations can build a solid foundation as a menopause-aware workplace.


Supportive workplaces matter when it comes to menopause 

Implementing supportive policies, providing comprehensive wellness resources, educating managers, and actively working to destigmatize menopause are key steps in creating a workplace that truly supports women’s health and wellbeing during what can be a tough transition.  

And let’s not forget – menopause can also be a time of incredible personal growth and transformation. As women navigate this new chapter, they may find themselves redefining their priorities, discovering new passions, and tapping into a newfound sense of wisdom and resilience. By embracing this transformative potential, we can create workplaces that not only support women through the challenges of menopause but also celebrate the unique perspectives and strengths they bring to the table. 


Looking to create a menopause aware workplace? LifeSpeak Inc.’s suite of wellbeing products deliver a wide range of resources to support women’s mental, physical, and emotional health at work and beyond through on-demand, expert resources, tools, and microlearnings. 


To learn more about our full suite of solutions,request a demo today.