Why Shouldn’t Women At Work Receive Support During Menopause?

While menopause is an experience unique to women, it’s important for anyone they live or work with, to understand how it affects them, and what support they might need.

The lady who helps me with the cleaning has been dealing with health issues for the past month or so, making it challenging for her to come to work regularly. This has left me struggling to manage household responsibilities.

Recently, she visited me with a bag of medical papers to prove the severity of her illness, struggling with the vocabulary to explain what was wrong. I waved away the documents because I didn’t want to invade her privacy, assuring her of my trust and urging her to take as much time off as needed. I emphasized that she should only return when she feels strong enough. But she insisted, asserting that they were in English.

I finally agreed, and discovered that she is grappling with menopause. And just like no two humans are alike, neither is their experience of menopause – hers seems to have really done a number on her.

It struck me that discussions about menopause are often considered taboo in the workplace. Even matters such as menstrual leave and maternity leave are met with reluctance and are not openly discussed due to perceived unprofessionalism. But menopause by far is the most neglected, not in the least because it signals age, which corporate culture doesn’t really appreciate.

Employers need to do better for women going through menopause

Fortunately, I am part of an organization that takes a progressive approach to women’s health. Recently, we hosted a session on menopause facilitated by health experts. The event was framed as a wellness initiative and was open to all, irrespective of gender.

Why shouldn’t women receive support for menopause – and why should men attend these sessions? While it is an experience unique to women, it’s important for anyone they live or work with, to understand how it affects them, and what support they might need. Despite facing a multitude of challenges, they persist in their professional endeavors, ensuring they don’t fall behind their male counterparts. Whether dealing with hot flashes, heavy periods, debilitating migraines, or a myriad of other symptoms, women continue to work, meeting clients, traveling, and showing up consistently.

Like menstrual leave, I believe menopause too, has a place in the workplace. If humans have a place in the workplace, then so do all regular human issues. My cleaning lady isn’t sure when she will be back, and it doesn’t matter. Her job will be waiting for her when she does. Until then, kindly ignore the fine layer of dust on my mantle!

First published on LinkedIn.

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About the Author

Smriti Lamech

I am a natural wordsmith, journalist, and editor, with more than two decades of experience across print, broadcast, and web. After spending the initial years of my career working in the mainstream, I joined the read more...

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