MPA Celebrates World Menopause Awareness Month


Let’s talk about menopause

At the MPA, we are proud to be a signatory of the Menopause Workplace Pledge. We have also assigned a designated Champion of Menopause to serve our wider publishing sector. We are also in the process of completing a guidance document for managers on how to support employees (who request support from their managers) who are going through the menopause, have mild to severe gynaecological health-related issues such as heavy periods and those who have experienced a pregnancy loss.

At the MPA, we have more women employees than men and all at different stages in their lives. By encouraging open and honest conversations at work, we are learning how to understand the differing needs of our women colleagues and how to support them better at work. This is an important topic for everyone because it impacts everybody. Women (and people assigned female at birth) going through the menopause may require support not only from family and friends, but also from their colleagues.

Menopause can be a difficult time in a woman’s life, but post-menopause can also be a time to celebrate “such as no more periods, PMS, or worrying about unwanted pregnancies. Add to that the increased self-confidence, self-awareness, and greater freedom that menopause often brings.” (

Most women experience mild to severe menopausal symptoms and some have no symptoms at all. Everybody is different and should not be compared with somebody else.

The definition of menopause is:
“A biological stage in a woman’s life that occurs when she stops menstruating and reaches the end of her natural reproductive life. Usually, it is defined as having occurred when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months (for women reaching menopause naturally).” (Faculty of Occupational Medicine)

The average age of menopause is 51, but it usually happens between 45 and 55 years of age. That said, it can occur any time up to the woman’s mid-60s. Women may not be aware that they are perimenopausal. This stage can start, for example, 5 years before menopause and they may have menopausal symptoms and changes in their menstrual cycle. Early menopause can be caused by a Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) which affects 110,000 women between the ages of 12 and 40 and five in 100 women menopause early between the ages of 40 and 45. Menopause can also occur at any age where the woman has undergone certain surgery.

3 in 4 women experience symptoms from menopause, and 1 in 4 experience serious symptoms, which can impact their work experience and productivity. Employer support through menopause can, therefore, increase talent retention, and enhance the organisation’s reputation as an employer.

“Women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, but around 900,000 have quit their jobs because of the menopause…people often struggle with their menopause symptoms in the workplace.” (Wellbeingofwomen, 2022)

The Equality Act 2010
It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on a Protected Characteristic. These include Age, Sex and Disability, which can all be factors related to menopause or its symptoms. There is some significant case law established in a case of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination regarding the treatment of a woman who was experiencing menopause. (Merchant v BT Pl 2012).

 How can Employers help?
Employers who tackle the issues related to disclosure will be able to identify issues and take actions to remedy them. Actions to raise awareness and foster an inclusive culture which accommodates everyone’s needs will help women to ask for what they need.

Employers can:
  • Have a senior woman champion
  • Train managers
  • Be sympathetic if employees are unwell at work.
  • Carry out risk assessments e.g. for shift based roles.
  • Provide general well-being programmes which provide healthy eating options and support employees to stop smoking
  • Provide an Employee Assistance Programme which can not only help with health, but offer assistance with debt and financial management, legal and tax advice, family care, a counselling service and emotional support. They may be able to offer an advice line which managers can use to help with difficult conversations and supporting people through difficult times.


Physical Adjustments

There are some physical adjustments which employers can make:

  • Relocation of desks closer to opening windows
  • More control over heating thermostats
  • Provision of desk fans
  • Supply of cold water
  • More frequent toilet breaks
  • Have flexible/remote working arrangements
  • Relaxed dress code

The overall emphasis is on a variety of approaches to menopause transition at work, to cater for women’s differing experiences.
Best practice employers will listen to employees and take action to ease the transition where possible.

Some Helpful Links & Resources

British Menopause Society

Wellbeing of Women
The Menopause Charity
Menopause NHS
Menopause & Me
Menopause Support

For more information, please contact:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Champion of Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]



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