There are increasing numbers of older women in the workforce, for whom menopause, a natural part of their life cycle, is especially relevant during this time. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other treatments have improved many women’s lives, there has been less consideration of menopause as an occupational safety and health (OSH) issue and as a work-related stressor. Menopause could have poor mental and physical health consequences, with one consequence, depression, generally linked to poorer interpersonal relationships with colleagues and decreased work satisfaction and performance. A large sample of employed women in Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) completed an online survey that measured personal resources, workplace conditions, and how well women believed their workplace responded to menopausal symptoms, in addition to their mental health, well-being and performance at work. Whilst a poorer experience of menopause was linked to poor mental health; personal resources and better workplace conditions acted as buffers for menopause, and improved job and life satisfaction and work performance. Identifying the risks in the workplace that either increased the demands on the women (e.g., an inflexible environment) or reduced the resources (e.g., less autonomy and social support) available to them during menopause, highlighted their OSH concerns and provided suggestions to reduce any negative impacts these may have on women in the workplace.
Exploring Resources, Life-Balance and Well-Being of Women Who Work in a Global Context / Gervais, Roxane L, Millear, P M (eds): pp.219-238