MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Workplace Menopause Support Needs Extending To Men

Men need to understand menopause within the workplace, say HR leaders.
Menopause in workplace. Man and woman shaking hands during a meeting.

While perimenopause and menopause affect women, supporting men in the workplace can only mean good things for wellbeing and mental health.

According to research by digital health platform, Peppy, three-quarters (74%) of HR leaders say workplace should encourage all male employees to better understand menopause. This is to support their menopausal colleagues.

Peppy says the menopause is not just an issue for certain individuals—its impact can be felt right across an organisation.

Symptoms of the menopause can include low mood, poor concentration, hot flushes, headaches, erratic sleep and lack of confidence. It can mean menopausal staff take time off work. In too many cases, they feel the need to reduce their hours or leave their job altogether.

This can put additional strain on the remaining team members and reduce productivity across the organisation as a whole.

So it’s not just women that need workplace menopause support but men do too.

Dr. Mridula Pore, CEO of Peppy comments: “Employers need to create an environment where menopause is discussed openly, frankly and without embarrassment or derision.

“When menopause is normalised in this way, staff are less likely to hide their symptoms and more likely to discuss what changes they need.

“These conversations are not just for women. We need to arm men with the vocabulary, the understanding and the confidence to participate too.”

Menopause Support Benefits In and Out Of Workplace

Peppy’s research also highlights that 68% of HR leaders believe, when relevant, men should be able to access menopause support to help their partners.

In some cases, menopause can dramatically affect relationships. So when an employee’s wife or partner experiences severe symptoms over a long period of time, it could start to affect an employee’s own wellbeing.

So, the workplace should not overlook partners when providing support.

HR Teams Need Empathy and Compassion

Similarly, Peppy reminds HR teams that they don’t need to be experts. They need to show compassion and empathy to those going through the symptoms.

Employers simply need to appreciate the consequences of menopause for both their organisation and their individual members of staff.

Most importantly, they to be able to signpost employees to the right expert support.

Dr. Pore says: “It is true to say that few employees are aware of menopausal symptoms.

“This can mean that many are completely unaware of the difficulties that menopausal staff have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

“In fact, staff who are lacking in knowledge about the menopause may often be the ones who feel most uncomfortable.

“Wouldn’t it be great if a menopausal employee could respond to a seemingly innocuous “How are you?” question from a colleague with an honest answer, and then for that colleague to continue with a suitably supportive conversation?

“We believe that HR leaders are correct in that menopause should not be a sex- or gender-based issue.

“Workplaces will be all the better off when everyone is well informed.”

Did you find this article interesting? If so, maybe you’d like to read How do perimenopause symptoms affect employees, over half of UK businesses don’t offer any employee menopause support and five ways to create a menopause-friendly workplace.