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.

MORE: HRT alternatives to ease the symptoms of the menopause

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
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

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