Menopause can be a challenging transition for some women, especially those who must cope with the symptoms of menopause on the job. As the number of women working past the average age of menopause (51) continues to rise, many women are seeking and finding ways to balance the impact of menopausal symptoms with workplace responsibilities. 1,2
A national survey of 1,500 working women ages 45-65 conducted by Working Mother Media and Pfizer found that managing menopausal symptoms in their work life is extremely or somewhat difficult for nearly half of the women surveyed who have experienced menopausal symptoms in the past year. 3
Hot flashes, changes in memory and concentration, and fatigue due to sleep disturbances ranked as the most troublesome symptoms of menopause on the job. 3
However – and despite beliefs that menopause can be an embarrassing subject – more than half of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that their colleagues have been supportive as they deal with these symptoms at work. 3
"Our research suggests a cultural shift in women's comfort with being open at work about menopause," said Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media and director of the Working Mother Research Institute. "The increasingly positive reception women report from their bosses and co-workers is encouraging."
In addition to leaning on coworkers for support, many women surveyed reported making simple lifestyle changes to cope with the effects of menopause in the workplace. Three out of four women surveyed said they made changes to the way they dressed at work, including wearing lightweight clothing and jackets or cardigans that could be easily removed.3 One in five indicated that she made modifications to her work schedule in the last 12 months. 3
“For some women, simple lifestyle changes are helpful in managing menopause-related symptoms.