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Menopause Symptoms ‘Problematic’

More than three-quarters of police officers and staff who have gone through or are going through the menopause said they found their symptoms moderately or extremely problematic at work.

A survey by the Police Federation of England and Wales found that only 11% of managers said they had been trained on how to support someone going through the menopause.

Nearly half of the respondents (44%) who found their symptoms extremely problematic have considered quitting as a result.

A number of respondents said they would be too embarrassed to discuss symptoms with their line manager and believe they would be treated differently in a negative way if they did, as it could be seen as a sign of weakness.

Respondents highlighted that their line manager was male and sometimes younger than them, which they also saw as an additional barrier to disclosure.

The survey was launched on the 18 October 2018 and was open for six weeks. Overall, 6,315 useable responses were received, of which 59% of respondents were police officers and 40% were police staff.

The findings were revealed at a Menopause Action Group (MAG) Conference in Wakefield on 11 April.

MAG Chair Dee Collins said the group has been working alongside the Federation and the College of Policing to raise awareness and counter against the stigma surrounding women affected by the menopause.

She said: “I’m hoping that the work that the survey is showing us can take us forward and make sure that all forces proactively participate in trying to support women in the workplace around this particular matter.

“Around about one in 10 people actually have some training, and that simply just doesn’t feel right or very supportive.”

The survey will also help to direct what training and support forces can give to officers affected by menopause symptoms.

Dee added: “Please try and be understanding, please think about the women in the workplace who are experiencing menopause symptoms and what support and reasonable adjustments you can make to make sure their working environment is a good as it can be.”

In England and Wales, around a third of female police officers are 45 or over.

Date posted: May 5, 2019

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