Menopause Action Plan – How nutritional support can keep female employees at work
pharmafile | March 1, 2023 | News story | Business Services |
Through simple nutrition and lifestyle changes HR managers could enable women to continue to thrive at work and pursue their career aspirations.
Labour are pledging support for menopausal women in the workplace, requiring employers to demonstrate and implement a clear ‘Menopause action plan’.
This is welcome news, not only to women struggling to cope with debilitating symptoms of menopause, but also to employers for whom it presents issues in terms of absenteeism and retention. A report by the Women and Equalities Committee revealed that a staggering 43% of women who experienced at least one debilitating symptom of menopause by the age of 50 were more likely to leave their job. And for those that remain at work, symptoms can be so challenging that they need to take on average 32 weeks of long-term leave.
Many organisations are already tackling this issue head-on, including the NHS who is one of the biggest employers of women in the UK. It is recognised that employees are ‘silently suffering’ and there is often a clear lack of support for what can sometimes be an embarrassing issue for many women.
But what can employers do to ensure that their female employees continue to thrive and remain productive and engaged members of the workforce during this transition in their lives?
Guidelines often set out plans such as educating employers around the menopause, how it affects women and particularly the challenges they face at work with debilitating symptoms such as hot flushes, brain fog, poor memory, anxiety, tiredness, low mood and lack of sleep. Suggestions for paid time off work, flexible working and making changes to the office environment with quiet spaces, access to cold water and good ventilation are all important aspects to consider.
To complement this, Nutrable partners with HR managers to provide a unique opportunity to support employees during the menopause, helping them to mitigate symptoms through simple nutrition and lifestyle changes which could enable them to continue to thrive and pursue their career aspirations.
Here are Nutrable’s 3 key nutrition guidelines which organisations can use to support female employees:
- 1. Provide menopause-friendly snacks in the workplace
fresh fruit, nuts and seeds (particularly flaxseed), yoghurts and oatcakes contain key nutrients which are particularly beneficial for helping to balance blood sugar and hormones – both important aspects of alleviating menopausal symptoms.
- 2. Provide access to cold, filtered water and refreshing face mist sprays in rest rooms and quiet spaces –
this can help women to deal with hot flushes and fatigue.
3. Provide self-help nutrition tips to female employees, such as:
- Eating a Mediterranean-style diet high in good quality protein, healthy fats and a wide diversity of vegetables helps to balance blood sugar to regulate mood and energy
- 2 tablespoons daily of ground flaxseeds in yoghurt, smoothies or porridge provides phytoestrogens (these mimic oestrogen) to support hormone balance
- Eat oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, eggs and lentils to beat brain fog and boost concentration
- Include fermented foods in the diet such as sauerkraut, kimchi or live yoghurt to feed beneficial gut bacteria to help metabolise oestrogen
- Eat oats, strawberries, tart cherries or kidney beans during the day to promote a good night’s sleep
Changes to workplace culture and nutritional guidance can help to ease symptoms during this natural stage of a woman’s life, transforming it into a positive and empowering experience and allowing them to continue as motivated and productive members of the workforce.