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Women's Healthcare Q3 2023

How to ask your manager for support during menopause

Image provided by Catherine O"Keeffe

Catherine O’Keeffe (pictured above)

Founder of Wellness Warrior, Creator of Menopause Success Summit,
and a Menopause Workplace Consultant

When seeking support in the workplace for menopausal symptoms, it’s important to realise that your direct manager may not have the same awareness or experience of menopause as you do.

It’s for these very reasons that I believe it’s extremely important to have a simple, straightforward process for holding a successful conversation with your manager. 

Here’s how to prepare for the conversation with your manager 

Awareness: Make your manager aware that you’d like to speak to them about your menopause symptoms via email or a quick chat to request a meeting. Give them time to prep by requesting a meeting a week ahead, so they can research should they need to. If you don’t feel comfortable, seek a menopause champion, HR colleague or health nurse’s advice. 

Prepare: When the meeting is scheduled, prepare yourself. Think about your main symptoms and how they impact your workday. For the initial meeting, one symptom that is impacting your workday is enough. Bear in mind that your manager may not be familiar with menopause symptoms, so having a possible solution to suggest is essential. 

Menopause guidance and policy: Check if your workplace has a menopause policy in place. If not, see if there’s a mental health policy that may cover some aspects of the symptoms you are experiencing. 

Notes: Make notes before the meeting, especially if you’re experiencing concentration issues. Having notes will help you discuss your concerns effectively. 

This is an opportunity for you and your
manager to work together to support
you through your menopause journey.

Role play: Practise your meeting with a mirror, partner, friend, or colleague. This will ease nerves and help you anticipate outcomes for the upcoming conversation with your manager. 

The meeting: A few minutes before the meeting, do a breathing exercise to prepare and calm yourself. Have your notes and water ready. Remember that you’re here for support, and your manager (ideally) wants to support you too. 

Time: Give your manager time to deliver solutions. Some solutions might take longer, so allow your manager time to come back to you. 

Follow up: Agree on another date to check in and monitor progress. 

Remember, the aim of the meeting is to gain support and practical solutions for the changing symptoms that may be impacting your workday. This is an opportunity for you and your manager to work together to support you through your menopause journey. If you follow the above steps and don’t get the desired outcome, it may be time to speak with an HR representative. 

If you’d like to learn more, please view the details of our upcoming event: Menopause Success Summit, October 14th:

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