In many countries, menopause may not even be recognised as an issue in the workplace, much less talked about openly and positively. International employers must therefore actively support employees affected. The first step to be taken is to create awareness and to share information – to normalise the discussion of menopause and its symptoms.
Menopause support for international staff must be particularly well communicated as there are so many more barriers to uptake, given geographical and cultural distances and differences. With some cultures being much more hesitant to discuss the issues, workplace education has an even greater role to play on a global basis.
Simple options to improve the work environment include providing desk fans, allowing uniform adjustments, and the freedom to take breaks as required. This may all seem obvious in the UK but may not be so commonplace in other countries.
There is now a great deal more structured external support available from health and wellbeing specialists for overseas employees going through perimenopause or menopause. It is possible to arrange access to specialist menopause practitioners, for example, to talk about an individual’s unique symptoms and to seek clinical medical advice.
Sarah Dennis is Head of International at Towergate Health & Protection, which she joined in 2014 following over 17 years working as a consultant and in senior management roles in international health insurance companies including Jelf Group, Norwich Union Healthcare (Aviva UK), HealthCare International, Goodhealth Worldwide Ltd. (Aetna...