1,148 women between the ages of 45 and 54 from five different ethnic groups in Israel, representing a traditional-modern continuum were investigated with regard to the relationship of their menopausal symptomatology with their work situations now and what they were when the women were aged 40. A relatively low symptomatology was found among European Jews, North African Jews and Arabs in the peri- or postmenopause where their work load was unchanged or somewhat more than before. On the other hand, the Persian Jews showed a remarkable contrast, namely: those who had never worked at all outside the home suffered less than all the others in all the stages of menopause. These results cannot be explained only by the socioeconomic differences between the five groups, as the North Africans and Persians both belong to the lower urban socioeconomic class and the Arabs to the low rural socioeconomic class, with the Europeans belonging to the middle urban class. Nor can the results be explained merely by the difference in modernity and traditionalism. The matter is more complicated, and additional factors such as physical health, marital relationships and general stability are almost certainly involved. The advice to "go out and work" which is so often given by medical practitioners to menopausal women is thus not always correct, and should not be given automatically.