A busy menopause month...
Phew – what a month. We’ve started the menopause conversation with hundreds of women and line managers. Hearing from a senior male fire leader talking about vaginal dryness in front of over a hundred women certainly got our attention – brave, or foolish, who knows?
Listening to a top female police officer telling us how she manages her menopausal symptoms at work was great. She tells staff when she is having a hot flush and the windows get flung open, and when brain fog hits, she tells them they need to repeat things or go over them again. Well done to her because this approach works.
Another male leader brought a photograph of his young daughter to talk about on his opening speech. As a father, he knows how important this issue is for her, not now but certainly in the future. We think it’s great that we don’t need to be afraid of who we are - speak the truth and our voice comes back.
It really has been a fantastic few weeks and we’ve felt happy, sad and humbled, but most of all we have felt inspired. How can we not be when we are in a room full of menopausal women? There is strength, there is hope and there is a damned good reason why we do what we do. Menopause does matter.
Talking of good reasons to do what we do, Diane Danzebrink, our very good friend and colleague, is leading on the Make Menopause Matter campaign which is raising awareness of menopause in healthcare, employment and education. The petition currently stands at nearly 9000 signatures. Women repeatedly tell us that they did not know their symptoms were due to menopause - how can we not know, it does not make sense? So, brilliant campaign which we are supporting 100%, we hope you will too. You can read about it here.
Interestingly, in a number of other organisations, menopause is still having to remain relatively hidden which means when going into companies, our work is not widelyadvertised. Sadly, this means women and managers are missing out on vital information. However, the fact that we are there means we can help effect change and encourage more openness and, as importantly, we can be part of the change. Reassuringly though, we know that a lot of menopause awareness comes from lone women starting up support groups which gather momentum leading to changes being made. These first small steps are so important.
We would love to take those first steps with you so if you need any further information, help or advice about talking menopause in your workplace please get in touch. You don’t need to do this on your own.