While menopause impacts more than half of the workforce, there’s a critical lack of support in the workplace for women employees experiencing health issues related to menopause, according to a new report by McLean & Co.

Menopause is a natural stage of life with symptoms that can vary greatly, including emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression; cognitive symptoms, such as brain fog and memory lapses; and physical symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia.

The report found employees experiencing menopause faced challenges at work due to these symptoms, with most feeling unable to voice their concerns because they fear their employers will see them as less efficient or capable.

Read: A closer look at menopause-inclusive workplaces

It also suggested when organizations enable menopausal staff to thrive, the benefits extend beyond the individual employee to the broader organization, increasing retention and productivity, as well as improved morale and communication.

The report also identified key actions that people leaders can take to become an ally and create a workplace environment in which menopausal employees can thrive. Leaders must first develop their knowledge of menopause and mitigate any biases they may have, said the report. Secondly, leaders are encouraged to empathize using emotional intelligence to build trusting coworker relationships. By understanding different needs since menopause experiences are unique to the individual, leaders can then make individualized accommodations. It’s also important for leaders to advocate and be an ally for menopausal staff by promoting menopause awareness.

“We know that menopause affects women, individuals with medical menopause related to personal health needs, as well as some non-binary, intersex and transgender people,” said Karen Mann, senior vice-president of human resources research, learning and advisory services at McLean & Co., in a press release. “This means approximately half of the workforce is impacted by menopause. People leaders play a key role in helping all staff thrive, so they must take a proactive and informed approach to dispel any misconceptions they may have and strengthen their understanding of the common challenges menopausal staff may face.”

Read: Dalhousie University providing menopause-inclusive workplace through support group, manager training