Why menopause in the workplace matters


Currently there are a billion individuals going through menopause around the world, normally women between the ages of 45-55 and with the process typically lasting seven years. And given that 80% of this group are employed, often in senior and demanding positions, the impact on their working (as well as personal) lives can be considerable. In the U.S., menopause may affect around a quarter of the entire working population at any particular time.

While there are over 30 potential symptoms of menopause, and every women is different, the most common, such as brain fog, hot flushes, fatigue, and irregular periods can be significant challenges to sufferers successfully doing their jobs. No wonder that 80% of women felt it was a major issue at work – and that over half considered leaving their roles because of it.

Yet, despite the number of people that menopause affects, it is still a taboo subject in many organizations, not properly understood by managers or discussed openly in the workplace.

This leads to major, avoidable impacts on the entire workforce and overall workplace. In fact, research by the Mayo Clinic found that the U.S. economy is losing $1.8 billion every year in lost productivity alone. All of this not only has personal consequences for the individual, but also for the company as a whole: lower productivity, higher absence rates, loss of employees through redundancy and early retirement and higher healthcare costs.

How should companies deal with menopause in the workplace?

Companies need to realize how important a menopause friendly workplace is

The last twenty years has seen a welcome, increased focus on female-friendly and family-friendly policies within organizations. Support for pregnant employees and working parents has grown dramatically as businesses see the benefits of retaining their skills, experience, and talent within the workplace.

However, similar conversations about menopause are not yet taking place in most organizations. In 2022 just 4% of businesses offered benefits to those going through menopause according to research from Mercer.

On the positive side, things are changing. In 2023 Mercer’s research found that 15% of organizations had introduced benefits, while New York City Mayor Eric Adams promised more menopause friendly workplaces for city employees in 2023. In the UK, the government appointed a Menopause Employment Champion, who has created a four point plan to share best practice and guidance with employers, encourage conversations, and provide support to menopausal workers.

Many organizations now see creating a menopause friendly workplace as the logical next step from other female-friendly policies around pregnancy and childcare and are working to break down any stigma attached to it. This is not only an ethical thing to do, but enables them to differentiate themselves, attracting and retaining vital talent and experience as well as positioning their company as a great place to work.

Communicating policies effectively is vital – use tools such as Tivian to explain the benefits and resources in place around menopause through personalized communications that cut through the noise to inform, educate, and support the entire workforce.

The entire process should be driven by feedback surveys

Menopause affects individuals in different ways. It is therefore vital to collect and listen to their feedback, such as through pulse surveys. This provides insight into how they feel and the resources that they personally value. This allows organizations to provide tailored support that best meets their needs.

Using engagement surveys to collect feedback from the entire workforce helps understand any education needed to build a menopause-friendly workplace. As with all cultural change companies need to understand, measure and shift behaviors if required. This means uncovering any unconscious bias, based on employee feedback, and then using these findings to drive cultural transformation.

Tivian’s Discover XI employee experience platform is designed to uncover insights and inspire action. It makes the process of collecting, analyzing, and acting on employee feedback simple and seamless, from quickly launching engaging surveys to reporting and action planning.

Employee experience

The HR department must encourage change

Human Resources teams need to take the lead on changing how menopause is viewed in the workplace. They should ensure that the right culture is in place so that employees feel comfortable sharing their experiences and needs, and that people managers are equipped with the skills and resources to have empathetic conversations with those going through menopause at work.

Some organizations are implementing menopause in the workplace policies, which cover areas such as:

  • Access to tailored healthcare support and resources
  • Agreed absence and/or access to flexible working arrangements
  • Support groups, including the chance to speak to others in the company that are either menopausal or have gone through the menopause recently
  • Wellness resources, such as gym memberships, to combat common symptoms such as poor bone health)
  • Reasonable adjustments to working practices to suit individuals


Other organizations are incorporating menopause in the workplace policies into wider female-friendly policies to provide support for women at all stages of their lives.

People managers play a key role

People managers are the first point of contact for the employees that report to them. It is therefore essential that they build relationships of trust with their people, based on behaviors such as empathy, understanding and transformational leadership. They should have regular check-ins with all staff on an individual basis, using these to get to know the whole person, rather than just judging them through their work performance.

Essentially building trust means that those going through menopause and struggling at work are more likely to feel comfortable having an honest conversation about their symptoms, experiences, and needs. People managers should have easy access to relevant resources and policies to deliver menopause support at work, collaborating with HR but always respecting confidentiality.

Using Tivian’s Leadership 360 helps assess whether people managers are enabled and equipped to have empathetic conversations around menopause, and whether they know where to turn for more information. Built around on-demand feedback, including pulse surveys, from senior managers, peers, subordinates, and colleagues, it provides detailed insights about strengths and weaknesses, with Tivian’s AI engine helping people managers to create their own, personalized action plan for improvement. In the case of menopause, it can help people managers recognize any areas where they need to improve in order to successfully support all employees.

Leadership 360

All staff must understand the topic

As a subject that is still not discussed openly in many settings, many people (especially men), have little detailed knowledge of menopause or its impacts. That means they either don’t understand the impact on working women or feel powerless on how they can help and provide menopause support at work.

Organizations therefore need to take steps to educate the entire workforce on what menopause is, how it affects their colleagues, and how they can assist them. Making available the right resources about menopause encourages open communication and conversations, creating allies across the business and supporting those going through menopause.

What does a menopause friendly workplace look like?

Today, organizations understand the importance of supporting all of their people, meeting their individual needs to ensure their mental and physical wellbeing across their employee journey. A menopause friendly workplace shares these traits and aims. It should be:

  • Built on an open, inclusive culture, where everyone feels valued and able to speak up
  • A listening workplace, continuously collecting and acting on employee feedback and using these insights to improve
  • Supportive, with clear access to resources around areas such as menopause and work, available through multiple channels, along with the ability to talk to others about the condition and its impact in an open, non-judgmental way
  • Personalized to individual needs. For example, those going through menopause might want reasonable adjustments to their environment, such as more frequent toilet breaks, flexible working hours, the chance to work at home, access to fans/ventilation or more comfortable, lighter uniforms, depending on their individual symptoms. Making menopause workplace adjustments can be the difference between retaining or losing an employee
  • Structured to provide the right medical and other benefits, along with the ability to take leave of absence as required


Be honest to yourself: Where does your company stand right now?

Break down taboos and make menopause an issue

In 2024, companies should ask themselves: How openly do we talk about menopause and its effects? Are we doing enough to support our female employees who are going through menopause? Are we educating all staff about the impact of menopause?

Tackle the issue to increase personal wellbeing and retain female talent.

Tivian helps you

Tivian provides the complete solution to listen, analyze and act on employee feedback, improving engagement, strengthening leadership, transforming culture, and enabling you to meet your organizational objectives. As well as our tools for collecting feedback, improving leadership, and creating compelling employee communications our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) solution provides an evidence-based approach to transforming your company culture. Using a feedback-based diagnostic it provides deep understanding of where you are now and identifies the specific behaviors that will help you achieve and maintain your desired cultural change, all while giving you control of the process.

Get to know our DEI solution, find out everything you need to know about diversity, equity and inclusion – or read about what else the future of work 2024 has in store.