Let’s start the conversation at work
Menopause impacts ALL women at some point in their life – between the years of 44 to 56, with the average age being 51. In fact, Menopause is actually only one day. What women think is Menopause is actually Peri-menopause – the time that precedes Menopause and the time when the disruptive symptoms begin.
Not all women will experience severe symptoms, but they will experience a degree of change in themselves, which can lead to a loss in confidence, an increase in stress and an uncertainty of what is actually happening to them.
Interestingly, this time also coincides with pivotal career aspirations in a woman’s life. As mentioned in a latest report ‘Menopausal women are the fastest growing workforce demographic’. (These women) are ready to come into their careers again after having children and caring duties, it is their career that gives that deep sense of satisfaction and meaning”.
With 33% of all working Australian women currently experiencing Menopause we know it is time to start the conversation.
So how does a woman navigate the deep seeded passion for a fulfilling career, whilst nurturing the plethora of changes she is experiencing internally?
Through Education and Support. We’re going to break down what these could look like for you and your workplace.
Education through self awareness
Actionable Knowledge is POWER. Interestingly, a lot of women do not understand the evolution of their womanhood. They understand that there is a life cycle of being born, experiencing puberty, having children and then transitioning to Menopause. The sad reality is that very few women actually take notice or appreciate that each of these significant life stages are interrelated.
Noted in the book “About Bloody Time”, the authors state that girls and women find menstruation embarrassing, upsetting and shameful and overall an unpleasant experience. Many women find ways to mask the natural wonder of their female biology. Unfortunately, this mindset carries onto a woman into Menopause and before she knows it, she has spent a lifetime disconnected from herself. She’s lost her intuition and spends her days pushing against the natural whispers of her body.
Women need to know about their body. And they need to know before they experience Menopause. The more women are connected to their cycles and understand how to look after themselves at different stages of their cycle, the easier the transition. This was further confirmed by Associate Professor Katherine Riach, stating “when women do understand the symptoms and ways to manage them, their lives (and work) can get back to normal quickly.”
Support is good for Employers and Workplaces
When Circle In presented their latest report “Driving the Change: Menopause in the Workplace”, they highlighted the critical need of support for women at work. Understanding how Menopause impacts engagement, satisfaction and performance at work is critical to ensure that women know that they are still seen as a valuable team member.
Katherine Riach, further cited that “Women who enjoy higher levels of support, report lower levels of menopausal symptoms”.
It is important to note that managers do not need to be experts in the field of Menopause, but they do need to understand that it is a critical factor in supporting their female employees. Given that having senior women in meaningful careers is critical for business success, we know that starting the conversation is needed more than ever.
The need to support women is not about neglecting the individual needs of men, but rather about shining a light on the differences men and women experience and then offering a whole health approach so that everyone feels supported.
As an individual, collective or community, we never succeed alone. Just as we have seen changes in knowledge and support around pregnancy, m/paternal and compassionate leave, we know that this is the next life stage that needs to be addressed.
If you would like to Start the Conversation in your workplace and need some guidance on how to start, download our Menopause at Work Business Case document for your perusal.
Or simply Contact us to start the conversation.