World Menopause Awareness Month - October 2023

The CIPD has just released a new report, Menopause in the workplace: Employee experiences in 2023. The report is based on the responses of 2,000 women aged 40 to 60 and has shown that 73% of those surveyed have experienced symptoms related to menopause transition. While, over half (57%) of these are currently experiencing them, right now.

Many people, even those going through the menopause, are not actually familiar with the host of symptoms that accompany it.  Hot flushes maybe?  Occasional ferocious rage? The full list is extensive including:


  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness, feeling faint
  • Changes in mood – such as low mood, irritability and depression
  • Changes in skin conditions, including dryness or increase in oiliness and some extreme changes such as hormonal acne
  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Difficulty sleeping from mild disruption to full blown insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Hair gain (increase in facial hair)
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Weight gain, change in body shape
  • Changes in gastrointestinal tract (bloating, reflux, heartburn)
  • Joint stiffness and other aches and pains
  • Osteoporosis
  • Palpitations and panic attacks
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Vaginal dryness and pain
  • Dip in libido
  • Memory loss, brain fog, ‘losing words’, difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem and self loathing
  • Exhaustion

It’s quite a list and not surprisingly, just 2 or 3 of these symptoms over a prolonged period of time can have a huge affect on health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, according to the survey the most persistently reported issues (67%) were “psychological issues (eg mood disturbances, anxiety, depression, memory loss, panic attacks, loss of confidence, reduced concentration, etc)” and 67% (again) of the respondents cited a negative effect on them at work.

The wider impact of the menopause at work is also covered in this survey, including the adverse effect on career progression for those affected and the loss to businesses of valuable talent (1 in 6 respondents have left the workforce because of their menopause symptoms and lack of support with them).


While a quarter of employers are doing good work with menopause policy or providing support, 43% offer neither.


Support does make a significant difference according to those women surveyed and they may include reasonable adjustments such as flexible working, hybrid working, easy access to air conditioning and drinking water, places to change clothes if required etc.

There is much that businesses can do to support their employees during menopause and retain and nurture valuable talent.   The CIPD report recommends:


  1. Open up the culture and encourage conversations about menopause
  2. Develop a supportive framework
  3. Create a strong and supportive culture around flexible working
  4. Manage health and sickness absence
  5. Educate and train line managers


At RPfT we have been delivering training for some time now, on how to manage the menopause as part of a Leadership programme that deals with all of these areas.  Calls for training on this subject matter have escalated following the pandemic. As the report points out, one of the most helpful support methods is flexible or hybrid working. Many women with menopausal symptoms benefited from the ability to work from home and were, not surprisingly, unwilling to return to an environment that may be more challenging day to day.

In Managing the Menopause we also cover many wider leadership training issues that feed directly to the skills needed to provide the best support.  These include:


  • The trickier aspects of Hybrid Working
  • Having a difficult conversation
  • Empathetic Leadership
  • A high degree of listening skills
  • Transformational Leadership


Get in touch if you’d like more information on this programme.