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  • Writer's pictureLauren Chiren

Understanding and Supporting Menopause in the Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide



The transition through menopause is a period of significant change for many of us, with a wide range of symptoms that can, without the right knowledge and help, profoundly affect our personal and professional life. Knowing that we are working in an inclusive and supportive workplace environment is essential in helping to navigate this stage of life with dignity and ease. 


As the CEO & Founder of Women of a Certain Stage, I have dedicated the last decade to shifting the narrative around menopause in the workplace. My passion for this is deeply rooted in both my own personal experience and professional expertise. Standing at the front of workplace wellness, I've been pioneering awareness and support of menopause awareness, and laterally menstrual health, driven by a vision to transform women’s health from a taboo topic into a powerful conversation about empowerment and systemic change within corporations.


The Journey to Advocacy

My journey into menopause advocacy was not planned; it was sparked by my own battle with a premature menopause - which I mistook for early onset dementia - while I was a senior exec in financial services. This personal experience opened my eyes to the profound impact menopause can have on professional life and the pervasive silence that surrounded it back then. It made me realise the urgent need for change, not only in how we discuss menopause but also in how we support those experiencing it.


With a background in psychology, sports therapy, personal training, nutrition, and leadership, I leverage my expertise to craft transformative training programs for businesses, blending cutting-edge research with practical application. My goal has always been to empower individuals and organisations with the knowledge and tools they need to support menopause awareness and accommodation.


Today, I wish to dive  into the typical menopause experiences at work, explore comprehensive menopause training options, and outline practical steps employers can take to foster a supportive culture.


The Menopause Experience at Work: Beyond the Basics


Menopause is a natural life stage for many, and can also be induced through surgery or other medical interventions. Its impact on the work environment is often underestimated. Equally, the work environment and culture impacts how we experience menopause. Symptoms extend beyond hot flashes and mood swings and may show up as:


  • Memory Lapses: Challenges with memory can affect task performance and confidence.

  • Decreased Libido: Affecting personal wellbeing and potentially impacting work-life balance.

  • Urinary Problems: Leading to discomfort and increased breaks, affecting productivity.

  • Joint Pain: Physical discomfort can hinder daily work activities and focus.

  • Increased Anxiety: May affect communication and participation in team activities.

  • Headaches: Frequent or severe headaches can decrease an individual's ability to focus and contribute effectively.


Understanding these symptoms is the first step towards empathy and support, highlighting the need for comprehensive education on menopause in the workplace.


Expanding Menopause Training: Building a Supportive Environment


To create a supportive environment, it's crucial to offer a range of menopause training programs tailored to different roles within the organisation:


  • General Awareness Training: Broadening the base knowledge of all employees to foster an inclusive environment.

  • Line Manager Training: Equipping managers with deeper insights and strategies to support their team members effectively.

  • HR & Occupational Health Training: Developing policies and support systems that specifically address menopause-related needs and empower OH & HR to deliver impactful effective risk assessments and wellbeing plans

  • Menopause Champions and Coaches Certification: Training dedicated individuals who can offer specialised support and guidance.


Adding to these, "Menopause: The Basics' ' is a foundational course offered by WomenofaCertainStage.com, designed to demystify menopause for both individuals and workplaces.


This course covers:


  • Foundational Knowledge: The course begins with the basics, explaining what menopause is, the various stages, and the symptoms that may be experienced.

  • Practical Coping Strategies: Participants learn about lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, and other strategies to manage symptoms effectively.

  • Workplace Adaptation: The course provides guidance on how workplaces can adapt policies, culture, and environment to better support employees going through menopause.

  • Empowerment Through Education: Emphasising the empowerment aspect, the course aims to transform how menopause is perceived and experienced in the workplace, encouraging a shift towards a more supportive and understanding environment.


Offered online, the course is accessible to a wide audience, making it an invaluable resource for both individuals seeking to understand their own menopause journey and organisations aiming to foster a supportive workplace. Feel free to share the link to the course to help us reach our target of 100k people attending this year!




Enhanced Support Strategies in the Workplace


Adopting a holistic approach to support involves implementing strategies that address both the physical and emotional well-being of employees experiencing menopause:


  • Adaptable Workspaces: Creating comfortable and adaptable work environments to manage symptoms like hot flashes.

  • Wellness Programs: Offering programs that support overall health, including diet, exercise, and mental health.

  • Personal Menopause Plans: Tailoring development plans to accommodate the changing needs of employees going through menopause and specialist Menopause Coaching 

  • Regular Check-Ins: Encouraging managers to have open, supportive discussions about well-being and adjustments.

  • Accessibility to Information: Ensuring easy access to information on menopause health and support services.

  • Inclusive Policies: Developing inclusive policies that recognize the needs of those experiencing menopause.


These strategies not only support individuals but also contribute to a culture of inclusivity and understanding across the organisation.


Fostering Community and Engagement


Creating platforms for sharing experiences and support can significantly enhance the well-being of individuals going through menopause:


  • Internal Support Groups: Offering safe spaces for sharing experiences and coping strategies eg ‘Menopause Socials’

  • Online Forums and Social Networks: Leveraging technology to connect employees across different locations, fostering a sense of community and shared understanding.

  • Mentorship Programs: Pairing individuals going through menopause with mentors who can provide guidance, support, and share personal insights and strategies that have worked for them.

  • Health and Wellness Workshops: Organising workshops focusing on nutrition, exercise, and mental health strategies that can alleviate menopause symptoms and improve overall well-being.

  • Interactive Q&A Sessions: Hosting sessions with healthcare professionals where employees can anonymously submit questions, helping to demystify menopause and promote an open culture of learning.


These community-building initiatives encourage a supportive dialogue, reducing the stigma and isolation often associated with menopause.


A Call to Action for Supportive Workplaces


The journey through menopause is a deeply personal experience, yet one that is shared by millions. By expanding our understanding, offering comprehensive support, and fostering a culture of openness and community, we can transform the workplace into a space where menopause is not only acknowledged but embraced as a natural stage of life.


Employers and employees alike are encouraged to take proactive steps: sign up for "Menopause: The Basics," participate in training programs, and advocate for policies and practices that support menopause awareness and accommodation. Through collective action and education, we can create a more inclusive, supportive, and empowered workplace for everyone.


Menopause should not be a journey navigated in silence or solitude. Together, we can break down the barriers of stigma and misunderstanding, building a future where the menopause transition is met with empathy, support, and respect. Let's celebrate this phase of life as an opportunity for growth, understanding, and empowerment, paving the way for a more inclusive workplace culture.


A Vision for the Future


My vision is for workplaces around the world to embrace menopause as a natural stage of life, deserving of understanding, respect, and support. Through my work, I strive to create environments where conversations about menopause are not only common but are encouraged and embraced as part of a broader commitment to inclusivity and wellness.


As an international keynote speaker, I have had the privilege of sharing my message with audiences worldwide, driving forward the movement towards more inclusive and supportive workplaces. My presentations aim to motivate and engage, highlighting the transformative power of proper support and knowledge in managing menopause.


Stronger Together


The journey to menopause awareness and support in the workplace is far from over. It requires the collective effort of individuals, organisations, and governments to create systemic change. Through education, advocacy, and policy reform, we can ensure that menopause is recognized not as a barrier but as a stage of life that can be navigated with grace and support.


My passion for this cause is fueled by the belief that everyone deserves to work in an environment that acknowledges and supports their whole being, including their menopause journey. As we continue to break down barriers and build up support systems, we pave the way for a future where menopause in the workplace is managed with the care, understanding, and dignity it deserves.


Together, let us embrace the challenge and opportunity of transforming the workplace into a space that truly supports menopause awareness and empowerment. This is not just a mission for today but a legacy we can build for generations to come.


Warm regards,


Lauren

CEO & Course Director

Women of a Certain Stage


Get in touch:


Book a call here to discuss working together, or booking me to deliver engaging inclusive training, motiviational talks or train to become a certified Menopause Coach, Mentor or Champion



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