menopausal women lack support work
(Image credit: Getty)

Women may not be getting the help they need at work during the menopause because they can’t open up to their boss, new research has found.

Four in ten women who have gone through menopause said they felt unable to talk about it at work, especially with male managers or colleagues.

And a third even admitted they wanted to take a menopause-related day off, but struggled to find the words to explain it to their boss.

A quarter of women have even heard male colleagues making rude or inappropriate comments about the menopause in the workplace.

MORE: Menopause help - best forums and support groups for menopausal women

But times are changing as the research, commissioned by Vitabiotics Menopace, found 32 per cent would happily discuss their experience and how they feel while in work.

A spokeswoman for Menopace, said: “The menopause is something all women go through - it’s a natural stage of life.

“But it seems there is still some stigma when it comes to talking about what they are experiencing and how they feel, particularly at work.

menopausal women lack support work

“While it seems many believe the taboo is slowly being broken, there is still a lot to be done to normalise the menopause in the workplace.

“Female employees should feel comfortable enough to open up to their managers if they are feeling tired or need to take a day off due to the menopause without having to hide the real reason - regardless of whether their boss is male or female.”

The study of 2,000 women also found that of those who don’t feel they could talk about the menopause at work, 57 per cent put it down to it being ‘personal’ while more than one in 10 worry it would harm their chances of promotion.

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Others keep quiet as they don’t feel close enough to anyone at work to discuss it (36 per cent), don’t want to appear weak to their colleagues or managers (23 per cent) or fear people will treat them differently (24 per cent).

Almost half don’t feel they would be able to talk to their male boss about the menopause compared to just 18 per cent who said the same of a female boss.

And while 46 per cent would shy away from sharing details with a male colleague, only 16 per cent would avoid discussing it with a woman they worked with.

Aleesha Badkar
Digital Beauty Editor, woman&home

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products—with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. In the past, she has worked as Shopping Writer at woman&home, gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team, contributed to Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto and earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London.