Why women don’t want to talk about menopause symptoms with their boss

Read, Watch/Listen, Workplace environment

 

 

 

As a manager, a team-leader or an HR person you might feel comfortable and be prepared to talk with your colleague, team member or employee about how their menopause symptoms are affecting them at work.

But they’re not coming forward to talk to you and yet you’re aware they are struggling.

In this blog, we look at reasons why women don’t want to chat about their menopause symptoms and how they’re affecting them with their manager so you can help identify and reduce the barriers to them approaching you to have an open, safe and confidential conversation in the near future.

8 key reasons why women don’t feel comfortable discussing menopause

ACAS has identified 8 main reasons why women don’t feel comfortable talking about menopause and their symptoms with their manager:

The reasons given are:

  • They feel it’s a private or a personal matter not to be discussed in the workplace
  • Their symptoms might be embarrassing so they don’t want to share that information with others
  • They don’t know their line manager well enough
  • They’re not sure if their line manager will be sympathetic
  • They don’t know if they’ll be taken seriously
  • Confidentiality is something they also worry about
  • They’re concerned it’ll be perceived they’re less able to do their job
  • There’s concerns job security or the opportunity for promotion will be taken away

I’d add to that it could be because they’re not experiencing any discomfort from their symptoms. 

Not all women have a negative menopause experience. 

How to encourage your colleague to have conversations about their menopause symptoms

If your colleague is struggling with their symptoms you want them to feel comfortable talking to you so you can help and support them the best you can.

Some of the way you can encourage conversations about menopause and it’s symptoms are:

  • Provide difficult conversation training for your managers
  • Provide training about menopause for your managers
  • Talk about menopause as an organisation
  • Put support in place for those who need it
  • Give your colleague the opportunity to talk to someone else in the organisation

Want to know more about menopause awareness for your workplace? 

Here’s some further reading. 

How to create a workplace culture that supports those going through menopause menopause

Menopause: Why is it an important issue for the workplace?

 

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