BLOG

Let’s talk Menopause!

Hello, let’s talk menopause. Not something that I’m overly comfortable talking about as a man which is half the problem!

A lot of women aren’t happy talking about it either however i’m going to talk about it.  Davina McCall recently brought out a program on Channel 4, if you haven’t watched it watch it.   If you’re a man and haven’t watched it, definitely watch it!  If you’re a man in a senior position or in an influential position in business, then definitely watch it as it’s a huge education!

I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’ve been very naive and probably dismissive of the menopause.  This is partly due to the subject matter not being a comfortable topic of conversation, however this isn’t good enough and I need to be comfortable with it and so do all business leaders.

In today’s business world we run a whole range of initiatives to  encourage diversity, to understanding different beliefs and cultures etc..  And why do we do that?  Well, because we want a more diverse workforce, which then makes it a more motivated workforce and more productive workforce, so that we actually become a more productive business and ultimately make more money!

The menopause is exactly the same sort of historical subject that we have been afraid to address but it is impacting women and ultimately our businesses every day.  If we ignore it and believe it is not happening,

then that’s just ridiculous, because 51% of the UK population of women and all women go through it and more often than not, women go through it on their own and without support or any consideration or from their employers, colleagues but also sometimes at home.

So, for all those guys that were naive about menopause before.  Like me, here are a few facts,

  • The menopause is caused by changes in hormone levels that take place when women get older.
  • Symptoms include hot flushes, mood changes, memory problems, fatigue/insomnia, brain fog, depression and anxiety!
  • The length of time it takes for women to go through the menopause varies between individuals, however, staggeringly the average is four years!
  • To help with symptoms treatment is available if you want it. The key is identifying, you are going through the menopause, and then asking for that, that support which again, if you watch the Davina’s program, it’s not straightforward.  However, it’s there if it’s required.
  • Healthy eating, regular exercise, along with simple behavioural changes can help with some of the symptoms. How often do we talk about that type of behaviour helping people, especially with mental health and well-being challenges?
  • Talking helps, talking to friends, family and professionals helps people to get through. Just having people that can understand and show empathy and have some support is incredibly important.  But also, so is having a very understanding considerate workplace, that acknowledges the situation, has policies, and procedures in place and is supportive is absolutely critical.  As we sit here today, that simply isn’t the case in most businesses.

So, as business owners, we need to wake up smell the coffee and realise that this is a fact of life.  It happens to all women including your daughters, your wife, sister etc… and I am sure that you would expect the right support for them.   So let’s make changes and support, women who are going through the menopause.

Also, although the menopause is not considered a disability under the Equality Act it is important to remember that it can lead to the development of other issues that are (such as depression etc).

Therefore, this is a reminder that companies have a duty to make reasonable adjustments and may be at risk if they do not support women going through this – adjustments are wide ranging so talk to Harwood HR for support, Policies and guides for helping your business!

Thank you for listening again and let’s wake up and make a difference! Thank you, Davina, and make sure you watch the channel 4 documentary, It’s very insightful!

See our video for more information on the menopause https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7al1py3-2g&t=43s