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Menopause Impacts More Than Half the Workforce, but Menopausal Support in the Workplace Is Critically Lacking: New Insights From

Menopause Impacts More Than Half the Workforce, but Menopausal Support in the Workplace Is Critically Lacking: New Insights From McLean & Company

PR Newswire

The global HR research and advisory firm has published a new resource that suggests that when organizations enable menopausal staff to thrive, the benefits extend beyond the individual employee to the broader organization. Benefits cited include increased retention and productivity as well as improved morale and communication.

TORONTO, April 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ - As the conversation surrounding menopause in the workplace continues to gain traction, many organizations still lack critical support systems to ensure employees who are experiencing menopause have the resources they need to succeed. In response to the lack of training and education as well as discomfort discussing the topic, McLean & Company has published its new guide, Be an Ally for Menopausal Staff. The global HR research and advisory firm's resource has been designed to empower people leaders to become allies for menopausal staff by enhancing their understanding, fostering inclusivity, seeking out unique ways to offer support, and cultivating positive team relationships.

"We know that menopause affects women, individuals with medical menopause related to personal health needs, as well as some non-binary, intersex, and transgender people. This means approximately half of the workforce is impacted by menopause," says Karen Mann, senior vice president, Human Resources Research, Learning & Advisory Services at McLean & Company. "While there is often more support for menopause in the workplace in regions such as Northern Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, menopausal support is critically lacking in North American environments. People leaders play a key role in helping all staff thrive, so they must take a proactive and informed approach to dispel any misconceptions they may have and strengthen their understanding of the common challenges menopausal staff may face."

Menopause is a natural stage of life with symptoms that can vary greatly, including emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression, cognitive symptoms such as brain fog and memory lapses, and physical symptoms like hot flushes, chills, and insomnia, the new HR resource explains. These challenges can span multiple years across four phases, which are pre-menopause, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause, and can be managed through tailored workplace support.

"Menopause can impact a person's working life, but it does not diminish their ability to perform their job effectively," shares Michelle Courneyea, research analyst at McLean & Company. "Being an ally for menopausal staff is no different from supporting any other team member and requires prioritizing inclusion. It's important to remember that inclusive practices benefit everyone; they may just need to be fine-tuned to meet team members' unique needs."

McLean & Company has identified five key actions people leaders can take to create a workplace environment in which menopausal employees can thrive, as outlined below:

  1. Inform. Leaders must first develop their knowledge of menopause and mitigate any biases they may have. This looks like challenging their own assumptions, consulting organizational resources, learning from others, and conducting their own research.

  2. Empathize. Use emotional intelligence to build trusting coworker relationships. Doing so requires leading with empathy, respecting team members' privacy and confidentiality, and creating opportunities for employees to connect with people leaders to safely share experiences and voice concerns.

  3. Understand needs. As a leader, it is important to understand that menopause experiences are unique to the individual. Recognizing behaviors that may impact work-life balance and may be tied to menopausal symptoms, such as reduced participation in team meetings or frequent yawning and irritability due to insomnia, is a key step to proactively supporting employee needs.

  4. Accommodate. Supporting menopausal staff enhances both individual and organizational success. By providing tailored support, such as flexible working hours, modified working locations, or adjusted deadlines, leaders can improve employee morale and inclusivity within the team.

  5. Advocate. To be an ally for menopausal staff, leaders must champion menopausal awareness and be role models for how other team members can support employees experiencing menopause. Raising awareness about menopause requires keeping the team informed by sharing relevant resources, standing up for menopausal staff by addressing comments that create an opportunity to educate, and celebrating ally behaviors through positive reinforcement and recognition.

As people leaders work to understand how to best support staff experiencing menopause, McLean & Company reminds them that lack of awareness, confidence, and policies are common obstacles that can be overcome by taking an intentional and inclusive approach. When leaders commit to leading with empathy and understanding to support menopausal staff, advocating for tailored assistance, and promoting an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, both the employees and the organization will benefit.

To access the full resource, please visit Be an Ally for Menopausal Staff.

The firm is also pleased to offer its spotlight resource, Overcoming the Taboo: Menopause in the Workplace.

To attend upcoming free webinars on a variety of topics or explore the publicly available archive of recorded sessions, please visit McLean & Company's webinars page. 

Please note that a selection of McLean & Company's research-based webinars are now offering professional development credits for recertification with SHRM, HRCI, and HRPA.  

Media interested in connecting with McLean & Company analysts for exclusive, research-backed insights and commentary on psychological safety in the workplace, DEI, generative AI in HR, HR trends in 2024, the future of work, and more can contact Senior Communications Manager Kelsey King at

About McLean & Company

Through data-driven insights and proven best-practice methodologies, McLean & Company offers comprehensive resources and full-service assessments, action plans, and training to position organizations to meet today's needs and prepare for the future.

McLean & Company is a division of Info-Tech Research Group.

Media professionals can register for unrestricted access to research across IT, HR, and software and hundreds of industry analysts through the firm's Media Insiders program. To gain access, contact

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