How Do I Talk to My Manager About the Menopause? Guide for Employees

September 2023

As women go through the different stages of their lives, including the menopause, open communication becomes crucial, even in the workplace. Talking to your manager about menopause may feel daunting or embarrassing, but addressing it directly can lead to understanding, support, and a more accommodating work environment. 


If you’re struggling with how to have a respectful conversation around this topic, we’re here to help with some tips.

Timing is crucial. Request a private meeting with your manager, ensuring both of you have enough time to discuss everything you need to. A calm and private setting can also help – avoid having the conversation in a common area.
Although you may be going through menopause yourself, you may not have all the information about how, why and when this time will affect you. Being informed will help you communicate your needs and concerns effectively.
Start by expressing your appreciation for the workplace environment and your desire to maintain your productivity. This positive approach sets the tone for the discussion and will help your manager to understand where you’re coming from.
While the meeting should remain professional, now is not the time to sugarcoat your experiences. If you’ve been struggling with symptoms, be honest about what they are and how they affect you. Honest communication helps your manager understand your perspective.
If necessary, propose some adjustments that could support you during this phase. This might include flexible work hours, a quiet space for breaks, or the option to work remotely on certain days.
Reassure your manager that your goal is to continue contributing effectively while managing the changes brought on by the menopause.
If you have suggestions for how the workplace could better accommodate your needs, talk about them with your manager. This shows that you’re being proactive about the issue.
After the conversation, send a follow-up email summarising the key points discussed and any agreed-upon actions. Ensure everyone is on the same page andhas a plan that you can refer back to.
By approaching the conversation about menopause with honesty, respect, and a willingness to collaborate, you're contributing to a workplace culture that values inclusivity and the unique experiences of every team member.