A recent survey by instantprint has revealed significant insights into how menopause and menstruation are perceived and managed in the workplace, highlighting ongoing taboos and the need for better support systems. The survey’s findings emphasise that despite progress, many women still feel unsupported by their employers regarding these natural biological processes.

  1. Employer Support and Workplace Comfort

    • Nearly one in five women (19%) believe their employer does not support menopause or menstruation at all.
    • Only 28 percent of women feel that the workplace should fully embrace open discussions about menopause and menstruation.
    • Just 27 percent of respondents reported their employer provides free sanitary products.
  1. Impacts on Work Performance

    • 31 percent of women believe menopause or menstruation negatively impacts their work, citing symptoms such as fluctuating temperatures, pain, unbalanced hormones, sleep deprivation, and nausea.
    • Over half of the women surveyed (57%) feel that menopause and menstruation have or might hold them back at work.
  1. Social Stigmas and Communication

    • 32 percent of women feel comfortable discussing menopause and menstruation only with female colleagues, while 21 percent are not comfortable discussing it with anyone.
    • 48 percent of respondents feel the need to conceal sanitary products from colleagues when going to the toilet.
  1. Male Perspectives

    • 35 percent of male respondents feel comfortable discussing menopause and menstruation with anyone.
    • 29 percent of men believe that workplace discussions on these topics should be normalised and more open.

Real-Life Experiences and Opinions:

Nic Ponsford, CEO & Founder of the Global Equality Collective, who contributed to the development of the BSI Standards Publication on Menstruation, Menstrual Health, and Menopause in the Workplace, provided her insights, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and support.

The survey also highlighted the varied experiences of female workers:

  • 35 percent believe they are currently going through menopause, and 25 percent have already gone through it.
  • Symptoms reported include fluctuating temperatures (33%), pain and discomfort (31%), and headaches (29%).

Calls for Change

The survey’s findings call for employers to improve support systems for female employees experiencing menopause and menstruation. Also, it is important to provide essential amenities like free sanitary products and suitable disposal facilities.

The findings also highlight the importance of fostering an inclusive workplace culture where open discussions about these natural processes are normalised.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.