Empowering Female Leaders: Navigating Perimenopause and Menopause in the Workplace (Part Two)


Welcome back to “Empower Female Leaders.” In this series, we are delving into the challenges of navigating the natural hormonal transition of perimenopause in the workplace.

In Part One, we explored what perimenopause and menopause are, along with the 34-plus symptoms associated with this natural progression, and what individuals can do to support themselves in the workplace. If you haven’t had the chance yet, I highly encourage you to check it out here. I’d hate for you to miss out.

Now, in Part Two, we’re shifting our focus to what workplaces can do to support women going through perimenopause and menopause. Let’s dive right in.


Menopausal Women: The Fastest Growing Workforce Demographic

Did you know that there are approximately 400,000 women of menopausal age currently working in New Zealand workplaces, with this number rapidly increasing? According to a UK Government Report on Menopause, menopausal women represent the fastest-growing workforce demographic.

It’s staggering to consider that one in six women think about quitting and 12% do quit due to perimenopause and menopausal symptoms. It’s clear that supporting perimenopausal and menopausal women to stay in the workforce, happy, engaged, and dedicated, is not just beneficial but essential for business to flourish.

Despite the profound impact of hormonal shifts and related symptoms on everyone, whether directly experienced or through colleagues and family members, the words “perimenopause” and “menopause” are often absent from New Zealand legislation and organizational policies. This stands in stark contrast to discussions surrounding pregnancy, another time of hormonal transition that is acknowledged in business and legislation.


How You Can Help Women Through Perimenopause and Menopause in the Workplace

 As we continue to strive for inclusivity and empowerment in the workplace, here are some simple and actionable steps to support colleagues experiencing perimenopause:

Educate yourself

Take the initiative to educate yourself about perimenopause and menopause and their potential impact on female colleagues. Understanding common symptoms and challenges can help you offer more empathetic and informed support.

 Create a supportive, safe and inclusive environment

Foster a workplace culture that values open communication, compassion and empathy. Encourage colleagues to share their experiences and offer support without judgment. Simple gestures like checking in on how someone is feeling or offering assistance with tasks can make a significant difference.

 Offer flexibility

Be flexible and accommodating when possible. Recognise that perimenopause symptoms can fluctuate and may require adjustments to work schedules or responsibilities. Offer support by being understanding of any needed accommodations, such as flexible work hours or remote work options during particularly challenging times. Refer to Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007: Part 6AA Flexible Working for more information on Flexible Working Legislation.

 Provide resources

Share resources and information about available support networks, employee assistance programs, or healthcare resources that can help female colleagues navigate perimenopause. This could include recommending books, articles, or online communities where they can find guidance and connect with others going through similar experiences. Give yourself a head start with our list of resources.

 Normalise Conversations

Encourage open dialogue and create safe spaces where female leaders feel comfortable discussing their experiences and seeking support. By normalising these conversations, you contribute to reducing stigma and fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment.


Keep the conversation going

By taking proactive steps to support women through perimenopause and menopause in the workplace, we not only empower female leaders but also create a more inclusive and supportive environment where everyone can thrive. Let’s continue the journey towards empowerment, empathy, and understanding.

If you’re interested in promoting sustainable high performance and supporting yourself and your female employees through perimenopause and beyond, let’s connect. Together, we can ensure the well-being and success of all team members.


About the author

Josie Askin, CEO of Spring Coaching, is a performance and productivity coach who works with driven leaders and entrepreneurs to improve their performance and productivity.

Josie has nearly 20 years working in government, in a range of advisory roles. She became interested in the gaps between workplace performance and wellbeing, gradually building analogies between sport and business performance while gaining several coaching qualifications. Now she deals with clients under pressure from all walks of life offering tailored leadership performance coaching, workplace wellbeing programmes, workshops, speaking and facilitation.