Be confident in your conversations
Thankfully, more and more employers are recognising that some women need support in the workplace during their menopause transition. Not everyone struggles, but three in four do experience symptoms, and these don’t just switch off when a woman arrives at work. This is why it’s important to know how to talk to your manager about menopause.
The average age of menopause is 51, although it can be earlier due to surgery or for natural reasons. But the years leading up to this time, known as perimenopause, are when symptoms can start to show. These can be physical, such as hot flushes, headaches and irregular periods, or psychological, such as poor concentration, low mood and anxiety. They vary from person to person, and can also change over time. Some small changes in the workplaces can make a really big difference.
It can be hard to talk to your manager about something so personal. But remember, they are a professional and they are there to support you at work.
Here are some top tips to get the best from your conversation:
Does your organisation already have a support system in place? Check the intranet or speak to HR to find out.
Keep a diary.
Making notes of how your symptoms are affecting you at work can help you both come up with some reasonable, practical solutions. For example, if you’re suffering from hot flushes, could you ask for a desk fan or an extra uniform? Often changes are fairly small and simple, but they can really help.
Book a meeting.
Have a time and date in the diary means you’re not catching them on the hop, and they can also prepare for the meeting. You can also book some private space to have your conversation in confidence.
Agree on what you will do.
Together, you can come up with an action plan which works from both perspectives. They may need some time to seek advice themselves, or find out what the company can offer.
This is really important, as symptoms can change over time. It may be that you need to tweak the reasonable adjustments a little if this happens.
How menopause-friendly is your organisation? Download our FREE checklist today by clicking here!
Or get in touch: Menopause@henpicked.net