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The share of women in employment is around 39% of the total workforce. The number of women over 50 in the workforce in the UK is around four million, the highest ever recorded. Working-class women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace, and so it is only logical that the number of women experiencing perimenopause or menopause while working will also continue to rise.
Studies have shown that about 80% of women show symptoms during perimenopause or menopause, 25% of which show symptoms so detrimental that it affects work and family life. Symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, memory problems, depression, lowered concentration, and other physical symptoms.
Experiencing perimenopause or menopause while working can be quite challenging. It’s sad that most workplaces do not make provisions for staff going through this phase of their life or even receive any form of advice or support.
Women that have gone through this and come out strong have come together and put out a list of advice that can help women dealing with menopause at work. They include:
Write yourself a list of things that need to be done, so you don’t forget the important stuff. This will help keep you organized and less likely to be affected by memory problems and anxiety.
Many women have reported issues with flooding and unpredictable periods during menopause. It’s advisable to be prepared for situations like this. Try to avoid wearing bright-coloured trousers or skirts, wear black preferably to work.
Reaching out or supporting someone in a similar position at your workplace will go a long way. They need someone to ask them how they are fairing and advice them on what to do at this time of their lives. Just develop the culture of checking on your colleagues, you never know what’s going on in people’s lives.
Don’t keep what’s happening to yourself, you’ll only get worked up and finally break down. Open up and let all the concerned parties know what’s happening to you. This way you don’t have to overwork yourself and destroying the career you’ve worked so hard to build.
The moment you realize that you are not alone in this, things will start feeling better. There are a lot of people that have been here and come out of it stronger. They are ready to give you a lending hand at every point in time. You don’t have to carry all the weight all by yourself.
Not every woman will suffer symptoms during perimenopause or menopause. Some actually go through it smoothly. On the other hand, some women end up suffering, not from symptoms but from fear and panic. Be positive, it’s a phase that will pass.
As a working-class woman going through perimenopause or menopause, those symptoms you see are normal and just a phase you’ll overcome soon. Report to the appropriate authorities at work and talk to somebody. You are not alone and we will get through it together if you remain positive and strong.