A unique scheme is giving hope to working women and could help minimise the economic impact of menopause in the workplace

A new personalised coaching and peer support project has shown a clear pathway to transform the experience of working people living with the menopause.

Participants in a pilot scheme reported that the 1 to 1 and group sessions, devised and delivered by not-for-profit social health organisation Enable, helped them talk about the impact of their symptoms and make it easier to continue working.

 

The MPower programme offers hope to thousands of women whose symptoms cause them to lose confidence in their abilities and skills and are then forced to take time off work or leave employment.

 

Menopause in the workplace costs the UK economy £1.88 billion a year through 14 million lost work days but most women do not feel comfortable discussing their symptoms and their impact with managers at work.

 

“Menopause in the workplace is a serious issue and employees need urgent support. 71% of women say symptoms have affected their job and nearly 1 million women have been forced out of the labour market due to menopausal symptoms, or perhaps more accurately due to the lack of workplace support in managing their symptoms,” said Lydia Singer, of Enable which works with the NHS, local authorities and charities to deliver services improve health and quality of life. 

 

“It’s crucial to provide necessary support in the workplace. Our mission is to address this urgent need, empowering those impacted by menopausal symptoms through bespoke, one-to-one health coaching sessions. MPower by Enable offers a unique combination of personalised coaching and peer support to help participants feel more comfortable discussing menopausal symptoms while improving overall wellness.

 

The programme provides 1 to 1 coaching alongside supportive peer group sessions delivered by Enable’s Menopause Health coaches either face-to-face or virtually. In the pilot scheme, delivered to staff at three organisation, ten 60-minute sessions, were fitted around participant’s daily schedule, along with 12 group peer support sessions held in community settings over six months.

 

The holistic sessions were designed to improve psycho-emotional wellbeing, reduce feelings of isolation and equip participants in self-management so they can be more active in their own care and minimise the disruption the menopause causes their lives and work.

 

An overwhelming 75% participants on the pilot scheme found it easier to discuss menopausal symptoms with line managers of human resources departments after finishing the programme while 81% found the coaching increased their confidence to discuss symptoms with a GP.

 

One participant said: “It’s given me back me! A sense that I can exert more control of managing my symptoms and how I’m feeling as I go through the change. Other ways to look at and manage symptoms. Its helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

 

Another stated: “I know there is no miracle cure for menopause, but the support has helped me make changes and alterations I needed, which are already making a difference.’’ 

 

The pilot’s success in fostering confidence, communication, and symptom management only highlights the significance of empowering individuals during this transitional period in their life, and by continuing to champion the discussion around menopause in the workplace.

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