It’s time we start talking about menopause in workplace | Mujda Rasoul

By Mujda Rasoul

Law360 Canada (October 19, 2023, 8:21 AM EDT) --
Mujda Rasoul
Mujda Rasoul
Menopause is a topic that is often not openly spoken about in the workplace. However, women make up nearly half of Canada’s workforce and play a crucial role in driving our economy forward making it a must-have conversation.

To enhance diversity, equity and inclusion within companies, it’s crucial to eliminate the taboo of menopause and have an open conversation with staff.

Out of Canada’s 19-million-person labour force, five million of them are women over the age of 40, according to the Menopause Foundation of Canada. The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce, so it’s important now more than ever to be able to speak openly about menopause at work.

Oct. 18 was World Menopause Day, making it a great time for employers to initiate conversations at work.

Employees should feel comfortable enough to not shy away from speaking about such a big and important topic. However, that is not the case. Three-quarters of working women feel that their employer lacks support to help them with this significant stage in their lives.

It’s important to remember that menopause not only has an effect on women, but it has an impact on the business and economy.

Below are some ways that employers can support staff.

1. Offer flexible work arrangements: Flexible work or remote work options can help employees manage their symptoms effectively.

2. Create an open space for communication: By creating open communication it will help employees feel comfortable enough to express their concerns and needs without fear of discrimination.

3. Awareness and education: Awareness of the physical and emotional challenges of menopause can help reduce stigma and create a more inclusive atmosphere.

4. Temperature control around the office: With hot flashes being one of the main symptoms of menopause it’s important for employers to ensure the workplace temperature is comfortable for all employees. For example, install fans or personal desk fans.

5. Provide health and well-being programs: Implementing wellness programs is known to boost staff morale. It can also play a major role in supporting women with menopausal symptoms. For example, consider providing access to mental health resources, workout classes and nutritional guides.

6. Resource groups: Providing a support group is another great way for individuals experiencing menopause to share their experience and share advice. This will also help to create a sense of community.

Mujda Rasoul is associate director of service at Peninsula Canada.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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