Why Do Leaders Feel Uncomfortable Talking About The Menopause?
When we run menopause awareness for leaders at Thrive, we hear a vast span of experiences.
Some leaders don’t know anything at all about the menopause.
Others know what they have heard from family members and friends.
Some have worked with women going through it, successfully or not.
Overall leaders are unexperienced in talking about the menopause. Why?.
It is something new. We know this isn’t true but, somehow, we are only just starting to talk about it.
We are not educated about the menopause in the same way we are about other stages of our lives.
Our mothers didn’t sit us down and tell us about the menopause and they didn’t even know about the perimenopause. They always talked about it in hushed tones
The topic makes us feel uncomfortable – it’s sensitive and personal.
Women are still not talking openly about it because they feel there is a sense of shame, there is a stigma, and they just “suck it up and carry on”.
As leaders, we think we need to have all the answers. How will it look if we haven’t got a clue?
Ultimately, leaders are there to serve the people in their teams – to remove obstacles that exist, to support and enable better wellbeing and performance. At times that means they may be uncomfortable. We may not have all the answers. We will need to be open to listen and learn.
Our role as leaders is to be there for our colleagues, to give them the time, space and support they need to navigate this challenging time. If we can do this, our colleagues will feel safe to share, if they want to.
The menopause is no different to any other sensitive issue.
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