Not so long ago I had to hold a team meeting with a client who had a team of middle aged women. The issue to be discussed was around compatibility and the refusal of the ladies to get on with each other.
As I sat there I wondered how many of these ladies may be menopausal and whether this could be affecting their reactions in the workplace.
So I decided to spend some time researching this – it soon became apparent that there has not been much research done this area.
What did appear was some concerns that some of the symptoms of menopause may affect a person’s work depending on the severity of them. Some of these symptoms include:
- Hot Flushes
- Mood changes/Mood swings
Some ladies had their own fans to keep cool, others were on the verge of resigning because they were over tired and anxious. Others pleaded illness on really bad days. I bet hot flushes are no fun if you are presenting or are in a meeting.
Most were uncomfortable raising any menopause related issues as it is seen as a taboo subject. It may be hard to raise these issues if you have a young male boss…
Interesting though – it seems that some women experienced no menopausal symptoms and feel as confident as ever in their work life.
So what can you do as a Manager or HR Professional?
- Be aware of the life stages of your team members
- Be empathetic
- Be supportive
- Allow flexibility around work hours if possible
- Have some information packs for Managers and colleagues
- Recommend online support groups
- Keep a constant eye on the air con
Here is a link to an article that the Sydney Morning Herald ran which outlines what you can do about this issue in your workplace. One of the last taboo subjects.
This subject has become very dear to my heart as I wage my own war against hormones and how they affect me at work.
Do you have a story you can share about how menopause has affected you or your colleagues while working?