Menopause in the workplace, all talk and no action?

It’s World Menopause Day this week and If you haven’t heard or read something about the menopause this month you must have been hiding under a rock (or a desk…)

Supporting women and organisations with the menopause became part of our offering in 2019 and we were reflecting on what’s changed in the last few years. Awareness is definitely higher driven by a number of factors:

  1. Public figures such as Davinia McCall and Mariella Fostrup fronted TV programmes that looked at the symptoms, lack of support and experiences of women. Many others have spoken about their own experience of the menopause.
  2. The Women and Equalities Committee have published their first report on Menopause and The Workplace. (They have been numerous other research studies detailing the effects of the menopause and the effects on women in the workplace).
  3. Early adopter organisations have put in place menopause policies, training and practical help and support for their female employees.
  4. There is an increase of “Menopause” branded products available everything from supplements, and skincare to clothing. (The global menopause market was valued at $15.4bn in 2021).

We really welcome this phase of maturity for the menopause as a societal and workplace issue that previously was accompanied by a deafening silence despite being a natural transition that all women go through. What any marketer will tell you though is that high awareness does not automatically result in action.

At Birdsoup we are about offering pragmatic solutions that help to build a culture of support and inclusion. We have a slightly different approach to many mainstream menopause support providers that focuses on the psychological symptoms that can affect performance, confidence and if not addressed hinder career progression or even lead to women leaving the workplace.

We know that menopause is not the same experience for all women, there needs to be a range of support available and understanding what’s going on for the women in your organisation is really key. We believe that this is very much still a test-and-learn phase of supporting the menopause in the workplace, versus putting in place interventions that aren’t used or not the help that is needed

What we’re focusing on now is the following:-

  •  Working with women to support them in their careers.
    • Individual coaching focused on coping with this transition.
    • Group sessions focused on specific issues such as confidence.
  • Driving a culture of support and Inclusion.
    • Assessment of the challenges for your organisation.
    • Supporting line managers based on specific challenges.
    • Training Menopause Champions.

Getting this right will be key to your broader goals around Diversity and Inclusion and will impact how you are judged by potential new hires and existing employees. Supporting female employees throughout their careers and giving line managers the right skills to help deliver that support surely represents solid business sense. 


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