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Menopause has a problem!

Menopause has a problem!

katie.robertson / 05 Jan 2024

E2W and Men for Inclusion have worked with and been a keen supporter of Kate Usher, Menopause & Gender Equity Consultant, Speaker, Trainer & Author. We are delighted to be sharing her thought leadership on our blogs.

Menopause has a problem!

It’s not that there are over 40 symptoms or that 75% of women experience at least one that negatively impacts their life. It’s not that for the majority it starts to appear in our early to mid 40s not in their late 50s as imagined. It’s not that every woman’s menopause is completely unique to them or that it impacts trans men and some non binary people. No, it’s not any of those.

It’s that all the conversation focusses on professional women who are white and middle class.

All women and anyone with ovaries will experience menopause. FACT.

Menopause doesn’t recognise a person’s ethnicity, sexual preference, gender identity, wealth or career success. It arrives, causes havoc and after nearly a decade starts to subside. If individuals are not supported both medically and in their workplace, the potential for losing capable and experienced employees in our places of work is vast.

This impacts those who work in the less discussed roles as cleaners, baristas and shelf stackers right up to those we talk about a lot in Exec roles. Menopause is indiscriminate.

By way of evidence of how narrow our conversation of menopause is, before Christmas it was announced that Fezolinetant was licensed by the MHRA to treat hot flushes and night sweats. It made the front pages of the broadsheets and was on every news outlet.

Fantastic, but as always, it’s important to look a little closer. It is now available on private prescription in the UK, however the decision regarding availability on the NHS is not expected until ‘sometime’ this year.

To get a private prescription, there needs to be a private consultation. Together the cost of this stretches into hundreds of pounds. This is simply not achievable for a large percentage of society.

When we talk about options and support we must talk about every person who will go through it, not just a privileged few.

How does this impact the workplace?

Imagine if our places of work lost many of those who clean them, made our coffee or stacked our supermarket shelves? Suddenly the sphere of impact, is considerably greater than many of us even considered.

When thinking about support for menopause, it must be fully inclusive. Organisations do not run on their top 2% alone, there is an army of people beneath them doing vital work that enables everything to function as it should. Each person within that deserves equal consideration.

There is so much that can be done and is being done by some employers, including those with zero hours contracts and part time employees. It is time we broadened the perspective and developed ways to support everyone through menopause.

Please get in touch with Kate and follow her LinkedIn page for regular and insightful content. 

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