Hot flashes and night sweats are just two symptoms of menopause, and managing them can be very difficult. It’s one thing dealing with these symptoms at home, but it’s another thing altogether when you’re at work.
This begs the question: Should employers be willing to make concessions for women going through menopause?
Christi Pramudji, MD, a female urologist and urogynecologist, female sexual health and wellness specialist and Cliovana trained expert, with over 20 years of private practice experience treating female patients, says they should.
“Employers need to remember that menopause is a natural biological process that affects many women in the workforce, yet it is often stigmatized and poorly understood in the workplace,” says Pramudji. “As a result, some women may feel unsupported and uncomfortable during this time, which can impact their work performance and productivity.”
Her advice to employers is:
Be Informed: Employers should learn about the physical and emotional changes that occur during menopause so they understand and manage their employees better. Read up on the symptoms of menopause and how they can potentially impact work performance and overall wellbeing.
Flexible Working Arrangements: For many women, menopause causes symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and other physical symptoms. These symptoms make it challenging for women to maintain a consistent work schedule and remain productive. Employers should consider flexible working arrangements, such as working remotely or flexible hours.
Keep It Cool: Menopause can cause hot flashes, which can make women feel uncomfortable, sweaty, and overheated. Employers should provide a comfortable work environment for their female employees by adjusting the temperature or providing access to a fan or other cooling devices. Please don’t insist on jackets in the boardroom either.
Offer Help: For any woman going through menopause, the convergence of stress and the shifting of critical hormones can lead to anxiety and depression. In addition to physical accommodations, employers should also provide emotional support to menopausal women which may involve access to counseling and therapy.
Revise Benefits: Employers can offer health benefits that cover menopause treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, to help their female employees feel supported and valued.
Advocate for Yourself: Women suffering with menopause symptoms need to advocate for themselves and speak up for the working conditions that they need to be most productive.