October 18, 2023

Creating a Menopause-Friendly Workplace

In celebration of World Menopause Day, we’re sharing ideas about what some organisations are doing to create a Menopause-Friendly Workplace, highlighting the importance of supporting women through this natural life phase.

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life, and employers can play a vital role in supporting their female employees through it. By raising awareness, offering flexibility, and creating a supportive environment, employers can foster a menopause-friendly workplace.

Raising awareness among employees about menopause and its potential impact is the first step. Workshops and information sessions can help reduce stigma and promote empathy among staff.

Flexible working arrangements, including adjustable hours and remote work options, provide women going through menopause with the flexibility they need to manage symptoms like hot flushes and fatigue.

Temperature control in the workplace is essential to alleviate discomfort caused by hot flushes and night sweats. Ensuring a comfortable temperature can greatly improve employees' comfort and productivity.

Access to confidential support channels, such as HR departments or employee assistance programs, is crucial. These channels allow employees to discuss their needs and concerns openly.

Offering regular breaks can help women manage menopausal symptoms and maintain productivity without feeling overwhelmed.

Wellness programs that include stress management techniques, exercise classes, and healthy eating options can support women going through menopause by promoting overall well-being.

Consider developing a menopause policy that outlines the support available to employees during this life stage, including flexible working arrangements, leave options, and support resources.

In some industries, uniforms or specific attire might be required. Employers can consider making adjustments to clothing requirements to accommodate comfort during menopausal symptoms.

Fostering an inclusive workplace culture is crucial. Ensure that managers and colleagues are respectful and understanding of menopause-related challenges, avoiding stereotypes or discriminatory behaviour.

By taking these steps, employers can create a supportive and inclusive work environment that acknowledges the unique needs of women going through menopause. This investment in employee well-being contributes to higher morale, greater retention rates, and increased productivity.

'World Menopause Day provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness around what is a normal and natural phase in the reproductive life course and focus on how organisations can best support and retain individuals going through it. At Maritime UK we are committed to showing how this is part of a wider conversation around ‘Kind Leadership’, Effective Allyship and optimising the potential of the older worker.'

Carole Davis NTF PFHEA SFSEDA - Menopause Hub Lead Maritime UK Diversity Taskforce, Professor Emeritus Warsash Maritime School Solent University, Senior Consultant/Carole L Davis Associates.

Menopause is a crucial topic that deserves more attention, especially in industries like maritime. In a recent article by Professor Caroline Davis for Maritime UK's Industry Insights titled 'Menopause matters if the maritime industry needs to be seen as truly inclusive', she emphasises the significance of addressing menopause-related issues in the maritime industry. We're proud to be part of this important conversation.