It’s important that organisations and managers know how to provide support for employees who are on their journey through menopause.
Raising awareness on this topic and reducing the stigma attached to it is vital so that open discussions can take place and inform the development of effective guidance and resources.
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 - as an individual’s oestrogen levels decline.
According to the Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD), women over 50, (ie. the majority of individuals who experience menopause) are the fastest growing demographic within the UK’s workforce.
59% of working women aged 45 to 55 say the menopause has had a negative impact on them at work. Impacting both attendance and performance, it’s clear this is not just an individual issue, but an organisational one.
As the average age of women RIBA Chartered Architects is 44, it’s important that as we develop guidance for our own organisation and the architecture profession, that we begin by listening and learning from individuals who have lived experience.
RIBA's menopause guidance
At the RIBA, not only do we care about the health and wellbeing of our people, but we believe support for those going through the menopause is a fundamental human right. We all need to understand more about menopause and other hormonal transitions, so we can offer the right support to you and your colleagues.
We recognise that menopause can affect us all, personally and professionally, and we want to help all our colleagues be the best they can be. Understanding the menopause is important for everyone – all genders – whether they’re experiencing it themselves or providing support for a fellow colleague, family member or friend.
The guidance below is used by RIBA colleagues and line managers to help them understand the key facts about menopause and how they can support those around them. These internal resources are provided for use as a template to create your own workplace guidance.
Open mic: the menopause
In 2021 we hosted Open mic: the menopause, an event that explored menopausal symptoms, stigma, the support currently available and what's missing. The event was hosted by Grace Choi, Director Grace Choi Architecture and speakers included: Dr Louise Newson, GP and director of Newson Health Ltd; Jenny Eclair, comedian, novelist and actress; and Dr Annabel Sowemimo, Community Sexual and Reproductive Health registrar and founder of Decolonising Contraception. View the video below to hear what our speakers had to say about managing menopause and available support.
- CIPD: Let’s talk menopause
- My Menopause Doctor, Dr Louise Newson
- Menopause whilst Black: podcasts by Karen Arthur
- Older and Wider podcast: Jenny Éclair and Judith Holder
- Megs Menopause
- Davina McCall: Sex, myths and the menopause
- CIPD: A guide to managing menopause at work
- National Innovation Centre: Aging
- XpertHR: How to support employees experiencing the menopause
- ACAS: Menopause at work guidance
- NHS: Menopause overview, symptoms, causes and treatments
- Age UK
- The Menopause Charity
- balance: Menopause support app
- Decolonising Contraception
RIBA is committed to being a Menopause Friendly Employer.