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Help Please - Researching Menopause and the Worplace

(8 Posts)
user1466443270 Wed 06-Jul-16 14:51:18


I am currently undertaking my Master’s Degree in Strategic Human Resource Management at the University of Huddersfield. My dissertation examines how organisations go about supporting menopausal employees. Rather than replicating existing research which explores menopausal women’s view of their experiences in the workplace, my research seeks to gain further information by looking at the issue from the perspective of those who are responsible for supporting employees; that is Human Resource (HR) professionals and those involved in management in the UK.

As a result of this study, I hope to gain an understanding of the nature of the current support offered in workplaces, describe the roles HR and Managers adopt in helping menopausal employees and identify the barriers to providing support and enablers of good practice.

In order to gather data, I would like to invite individuals who are either working in HR or who have people management responsibilities as part of their job role to participate in this study by completing a short online questionnaire which takes roughly 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be anonymous and confidential. The questionnaire can be accessed using the following link...

The deadline for completing the survey is midnight, Monday 11th July 2016.

Thank you for your time and hopefully your participation.

LineyReborn Wed 06-Jul-16 14:57:02

Hi, best of luck with this. I can't complete it because I'm not in HR or managing a team, but I hope you get some takers.

user1466443270 Wed 06-Jul-16 15:02:56

Thanks LineyReborn! I hope I get some takers too! If not its going to make dissertation more difficult to write sad

user1466443270 Fri 08-Jul-16 09:20:42

Still looking for people to fill in my online questionnaire - if you have time please complete!

Many thanks

EBearhug Fri 08-Jul-16 22:43:02

I'm not in HR, either, but I have a draft mail to go to HR/Women's Network saying I think we should have more support for women and menstruation - not just at menopause. We just had a health at work day, and there was no mention of women's health issues. We've had a breast health day in the past, but not other issues, AFAIK. They did have a men's health session, which I assume was about testicular cancer and prostate health and so on, but as I didn't go, what with not being a man and all, I don't know.

We do have access to some medical docs via the employee assistance programme, but I want some more practical guidelines about how to deal with period pains that make you vomit and faint - if that happens regularly, what effect does that have on your career progression? What about if you need to be changing protection every hour? That's mostly okay in my role - I rarely have meetings which last more than an hour, though I do sometimes have back-to-back meetings. But what if you are a teacher or something where it's less easy to take breaks? What if you flood through your clothes onto expensive upholstery? The whole unpredictability when things stop being regular, tiredness from sleep disruption...

But it's all still taboo, so women often don't talk about it - earlier this week, I walked from my desk to the recycling bins with an empty scrunched up tampon box, and even though probably no one could see what it actually was, I still felt quite daring. So if we don't even talk to each other about it, how do you talk to a male manager, if you are struggling to cope and want to take it easy one day, and put the hours in when you're feeling a bit stronger, or something like that? Shouldn't make employees with wives have some understanding of the symptoms of menopause, so they can support their wives? How do we expect women and girls in other countries to get over the real menstrual taboos that stop them working and being educated, if we can't talk about it between ourselves, where we don't have such taboos?

But also - we're meant to be equal to men, and periods just aren't meant to be an issue, so if we say, "actually, I do need more support sometimes," does that play into the hands of all the men who think that actually, women aren't quite up to the job? (Yes, we are - we go through everything men do, but have to deal with all the menstrual stuff as well. We deserve medals, sometimes!) So what will we lose, if we say we do need more support?

daisychain01 Sun 10-Jul-16 05:35:09

I do not think you will get a large enough sample size by posting your link here. Yes, it's an employment board, but not a lot of traffic.

Have you tried sending your link to actual companies?

Could you try doing a case study approach targeting 3-5 willing companies and compare your results. I'm sure that would give you enough for your dissertation.

user1466443270 Mon 11-Jul-16 11:03:19

Thanks for the suggestion daisychain01, it does make sense but I'm committed to my questionnaire approach now. I have posted it on LinkedIn and sent emails out and I have a modest sample size but still posting here in order try and boost numbers. I never really thought I would get a large enough sample size to use my result to generalise but I have enough results to form a discussion around the findings. It is just exploratory research so if I ever decide to look at doing a PhD I could look at a case study approach.

user1466443270 Mon 11-Jul-16 11:07:23

EBearhug thank you for your comments you make some very sound points which I intend to pick up on as part of my dissertation.

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