Today is the annual International Women’s Day. So, let's talk menopause!

Every woman will experience the menopause – its biology – and more and more women are working whilst experiencing theirs. The average age for menopause is around 51 years, although symptoms related to the perimenopause can start when a woman is in her mid to late 40s.

Around 3.5 million women aged over 50 years are currently in employment in the UK and yet the subject of the menopause and menopause related symptoms still remains a taboo topic. Symptoms of the menopause are a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms including hot flushes and night sweats, brain fog, insomnia and even depression. 

Studies have shown that:

  • At least 50% of women have reported finding work difficult due to their symptoms of the menopause
  • Around 10% of women have actually given up work altogether as a result of their symptoms

As a leading Advocacy provider in the North West, we are used to advocating for – and giving a voice to –people who may have difficulty communicating their own wishes and views, so it’s only natural that we would advocate for women in the work place and make menopause matter.

Justine Hodgkinson, CEO of Advocacy Focus said:

Here at Advocacy Focus, over 80% of our workforce are women, so we understand and support those experiencing the menopause, in all of its forms. We have a commitment to support women via our mental health and wellbeing policy, our active Time to Change team and our support group, Female Focus.

Menopause Resources

In aid of International Women’s Day, we have created two resources to help improve awareness of the menopause and to encourage support in the workplace for working women. There are two guides:

  • Menopause Focus: a Leaflet for Employees Experiencing Menopause 

We hope that with our leaflet, women will feel better supported, empowered to self-manage their symptoms and more able to ask for help, should they need it. Click below to download the free leaflet as a pdf.


  • Menopause Matters: a Leaflet for Employers 

This quick read is a starter resource for employers to understand the impact of a women’s menopausal symptoms in workplace and to learn how to better support your employees. The handy acronym ASK EDNA! will encourage forward thinking organisations to look at ways to adopt menopause friendly policies and practices. Click below to download the free leaflet as a pdf.



Why support Employers to make Menopause Matter?

A study from the Government Equalities Office found that the work absence of women in their early 50s suffering from menopausal symptoms cost the economy at least £7.3 million – which is a very conservative estimate. This may be because many women have hidden or mis-reported their reason for absence due to embarrassment or lack of understanding about what they are experiencing.  Particularly if they report to younger or male managers. 

Menopause awareness in the workplace is a win-win situation. Employers may be losing talented and experienced staff and women are often left suffering menopausal symptoms in silence. It doesn’t have to be this way and because we value the contribution that women make in the workplace, we are working on a full Menopause Toolkit for Employers.

The full guide will easily allow employers to adopt menopause friendly policies and procedures and will include self help tools for organisations to distribute to your employees and especially to those who are experiencing the menopause.

  • If you would like to receive the Employer Menopause Guide when it is available to download from our website for a nominal fee in April, please email your interest to Vicky or Jenny at [email protected].
  • If you are a women who would like to share their experience of working through their menopause (confidentially or openly), please email to Vicky or Jenny at [email protected].

Useful websites: - information and a great forum - free resource pack and regular emails - a website celebrating mid-life - diagnosis and management - research

Did you know?

The most common psychological symptoms of the menopause are a loss of self-esteem and confidence, anxiety and panic attacks.