Posted: Fri 16th Jul 2021
You may recognise this scenario – Mary is a dynamic, confident businesswoman who has spent years learning, adapting and developing herself to grow her business to where it is today.
She manages a capable team of people who rely on her input and sound judgement, and then – bam – menopause symptoms start creeping into her daily life. As a result, she starts:
second-guessing her decision making
forgetting salient business information
having random hot flushes during essential meetings
becoming easily irritated by her team or colleagues
All of these trigger increasing anxiety levels to the point where Mary feels utterly overwhelmed, ashamed and confused!
Menopause often intersects with a critical career stage. It usually occurs between the ages 45 and 55, which coincidently is also the age bracket during which women are most likely to be running a business, leading a team or adopting top leadership positions.
The Faculty of Occupational Medicine highlights that nearly eight out of 10 menopausal women are in work, which is the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce. Three out of four women experience symptoms; one in four could experience severe symptoms.
Are you an employer?
Menopause is covered under the Equality Act 2010 and can be the grounds of sex, age or disability discrimination.
It is best practice for employers to provide the proper support through their menopause transition.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the groups who experienced the highest sickness absence rates included older women and those working in large organisations.
How much is this costing your company?
How can we otherwise support women in the workplace?
As an employer in my own right – recognising that these symptoms can last for a considerable time, and manifest differently across the team – I recognise the simple act of making employees feel supported and listened to, which only creates a kinder, more relaxed working environment. Who doesn’t want that?
How mentoring can help
It certainly isn't designed to be a medical alternative, although having seen a menopause specialist, I can certainly steer you in the right direction. Suffice to say, going through these symptoms myself as well as running a successful business; mentoring can help you:
Tackle day-to-day decision-making processes
Rebuild confidence in your abilities
Talk through triggers that increase anxiety, helping you to to change focus
Improving your work/life balance
Adapt your business and the untapped potential within it