Organisations want to have more women in senior positions however this often intersects with the impact of menopause.
As organisations become more sophisticated around diversity and inclusion, they are engaging in conversations to support gender equality and this includes women going through the menopause.
We spend a lot of our lives in the workplace (approximately 90,000 hours) and it is important that we are comfortable there in order to thrive, enjoy our work and progress throughout our careers. For organisations it is important they care for the wellbeing of their workforce and of course that they are efficient, effective, and productive.
In recent years, businesses have begun to introduce policies to help women who are suffering from menopausal symptoms, most recently Vodafone said it believed about 15,000 of its 100,000 employees are experiencing the menopause, and that it was making a “global commitment” to support them via rolling out awareness training and a webinar on “hormonal health and life stages”. Channel 4 made headlines when it announced a range of measures to support staff including flexible working and a private, cool, and quiet workspace accessible for women to use.
How do you go about starting the menopause conversation at your place of work?
As a woman going through menopause, it is important to know what you want to see happen in your workplace. Just to be listened to? Your desk to be positioned by a window, or easy access to a fan? Patience from others if you are having a ‘brain fog’ moment? Colleagues can have more empathy if they understand what you are going through, rather than jumping to conclusions of incompetence, awkwardness and moodiness.
If you want to start speaking up about menopause, find others who are willing to champion the menopause agenda alongside you, consider what you would like to see change and identify a senior sponsor to help amplify your voice.
Be clear in your mind what you want and make the decision to do something about it