You may have seen a Daily Mail article reporting on classes being given to members of the emergency services to help them better understand and aid co-workers going through menopause.
The piece tends to align itself with Tory MP David Davies, who is quoted as saying that the classes are a ‘waste of money’. The Daily Mail seems to think that everyone is fully aware of the symptoms, consequences and struggles of menopause, and should simply get on with their work.
I think otherwise. We all – middle aged women, young women, men, workers, bosses – can stand to gain from a little extra education where menopause is concerned.
Middle aged women can truly benefit from a work atmosphere that is understanding and accepting of an important but often distressing part of life. In fact, Dr. Hannah Short says that ‘Up to 10% women consider quitting their job as a result’. How can we allow women to reach that point of discomfort?
The Daily Mail article states that around 3.5 million women of menopause age are currently in work. That is a large figure, and surely bosses must understand that 350,000 women leaving their jobs would leave a huge hole in their productivity and ability to operate.
As these classes will include male and young female co-workers, there is the potential to better educate those unaware of menopausal symptoms and how to help female colleagues experiencing them. This should create a more empathetic working environment, and prepare young women who often do not fully appreciate how much of a struggle menopause can be until it is upon them.
Perhaps most importantly though, these classes could go a long way to helping remove some of the stigma that exists around menopause and create a conversation we should all be having.
My advice – keep yourself informed and don’t be afraid to talk about your experiences!