Who can be in any doubt that the menopause is now recognised as a major workplace issue? Numerous reports and studies have been published looking not only at the financial cost of the menopause caused by absenteeism and women having to leave the workforce early, but more importantly the emotional cost paid by women who feel unsupported by their employer.
What is, after all, a natural part of ageing process has until recently been largely ignored by employers and what has previously been described as ‘women’s issues’ needs to be urgently recategorised. The statistics are startling:
Thankfully the intervention of public figures such as Michelle Obama in the US and TV personality Davina McCall here in the UK has provoked a national conversation. The issue is also being debated at the heart of government with the creation of the UK Menopause Taskforce a body made up of ministers and clinicians from across the UK to increase access to treatment and ending the taboos and stigmas that still surround conversations about the menopause, including in the workplace.
But as well as looking at the big picture, I wanted to listen and understand from individuals who have themselves been affected by the menopause so I teamed with the folks from Kooth, a digital mental health provider, to provide real-life experience and context.
Dr Lynne Green is Kooth’s chief clinical officer and a consultant clinical psychologist with 20 years’ NHS experience and Anne-Marie Yates is Kooth’s deputy safeguarding lead ensuring appropriate safeguarding processes across the business and is also leading on the suicide preventions strategy for the organisation.
Journey with my two guests as they tell their own very personal stories on how the menopause affected both their physical and mental wellbeing and why they believe organisations have an overwhelming moral duty to have policies and support in place to provide compassionate leadership on this issue that affects so many women.