I talk a lot about why you should be creating positive menopause conversations at work and whilst an increasing number of organisations are getting on board with this, there are a few people in the work environment who are openly resistant. And this is why:
It will make people feel uncomfortable
Yes, some people may feel uncomfortable and embarrassed initially and that’s perfectly normal – it’s not a topic that’s historically been discussed – at home or at work. However, a tailored approach aligned with your company values, mission and culture means that feeling quickly dissipates. It’s replaced with an environment in which people can openly and comfortably instigate and participate in conversations about menopause in a respectful and supportive manner. Fostering an open culture of respect, communication and care around sensitive issues can have a direct impact on other important workplace discussions and issues too.
It will set women back
Did maternity protection set us back? – well in some cases yes but does that make it ok? No! And the same applies to menopause. In order to create an equitable workplace where everyone can be effective in their roles we need to acknowledge and support all employees at all levels and through all career and life stages.
It’s a personal topic
The same could be said of mental health, LGBT, neurodiversity and other EDI topics but there should still be a framework in the workplace to allow for discussions, signposting and support. That way your work environment becomes a safe place where people can express who they choose to be and be valued for who they are.
It’s not business critical
Actually yes it is! In recent years, we’ve seen notable cases where women have been performance managed out of organisations as a result of menopause and then successfully won tribunal cases for substantial sums. Can you organisation afford both the revenue and reputational cost?
It’s not inclusive
Again yes it is! People from the non-binary, transgender and intersex communities may also experience menopause symptoms. One in 1000 women under the age of 30 will experience an early menopause. Employees who don’t go through menopause will either be living with or working with someone who does. In the same way that everyone is invited into the mental health conversation you should make it ok for everyone to talk about menopause too.
Not everybody wants to talk about it
No they don’t and that’s ok too – what we’re doing is creating an environment where it’s ok to talk about menopause if you want to and where it’s ok to ask for help if you need it. When you embed menopause as a mainstream topic you generate engagement, improve gender parity and ensure that you stand out as an employer of choice where both your current and future talent can thrive.
Email me today to discuss how to make your menopause awareness and training programme positive, solution oriented and inclusive.