I was speaking with my Mum the other day. She’s 80 and still meets up with her school friends every month. Pretty impressive, eh? They go to the local pub and cradle half a shandy for the 4-hour catch up. The landlord is delighted! 
Last Wednesday was one of their regular get togethers. The agenda is always dissecting this strange world we live in and talking about how it was better in their day. This time one of the conversation topics was the menopause. Mum’s friend Janet was exasperated. 
“I am sick of hearing about the bloody menopause! What’s all the fuss about? We just got on with it in our day.” 
It’s not the first time I’ve heard this, but it does make me sad that women who’ve been through it, and had a tough time, wouldn’t want to make it better for the generations that follow. 
Yes, menopause is a natural part of life that we have to navigate but why do we think that suffering and battling on is noble and to be applauded? There is no applause. There are no medals. There are definitely casualties. 
We know that this battle is resulting in 10% of women leaving the workplace at the height of their professional powers. I think that’s definitely worth kicking up a fuss about. 
Ultimately, understanding and supporting menopause is about progress, it’s about equality, it about understanding and caring for our colleagues, leaders, wives, partners, mothers. It’s about being better humans. 
When these women were my age there was so much wrong with the workplace: 
Overt sex Discrimination. 
No platform to talk about our mental health. 
Non inclusive work cultures where only certain people had a voice. 
These were not the good old days. I would not want that reality back. 
So why talk about the menopause? 
So that our female, transgender male, and non-binary colleagues going through it don’t feel alone. 
So that our male colleagues feel part of the conversation and understand their role in offering support. 
So that colleagues can be aware and be on hand to offer support. 
So that those going through the menopause, or who will be going through it, feel educated, empowered, and galvanised to keep on contributing and having a voice. 
The world has changed, and organisations need to too. 
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