Menopause: ensuring no one is left behind
We were delighted to recently bring together a panel of expert speakers who shared their experiences and advice on how to be more menopause friendly as a leader. We welcomed Helen Normoyle, Co-Founder of My Menopause Centre and Wendy Madden and Randeep Kaur Kular from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
Today circa 15.5 million women in the UK are in some stage of the menopause transition. This is 4.5 million women between the ages of 50 – 64 in the UK workforce, many of whom are in senior roles. Evidence shows that very few women (1 in 4) felt prepared for the menopause and that this has a huge impact on the economy, with 3.27 days of work being missed each year due to the symptoms women experience and 10% of women have left their jobs as a result.
This means that the menopause should be a mainstream women’s health topic.
Our first speaker was Helen, who, with her business partner and friend Dr Clare Spencer, is on a mission to raise awareness of menopause and help empower women with the knowledge they need to embrace this new chapter and thrive. Helen is particularly passionate about supporting women in the workplace and helping employers understand the benefits of having a positive menopause policy.
When Helen began her menopause transition, the symptoms she started to experience came as a surprise and she felt very unprepared. One afternoon she found herself sitting on Clare’s sofa asking lots of questions. She left their conversation feeling very reassured but wondering why it was so difficult to find easy-to-understand, evidence-based information and advice on what she was experiencing and the different treatment options. And so, the idea for My Menopause Centre was born. The My Menopause Centre clinic is made up of dedicated menopause doctors led by Dr Clare Spencer, a registered menopause specialist and GP who also runs an NHS specialist menopause service. The Centre is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.
We then heard from Wendy Madden and Randeep Kaur Kular about the trailblazing “menopause passport” which they have designed and implemented at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. The is thought to be the first of its kind in the NHS. Nurse Wendy Madden, whose menopause symptoms led to her taking 11 weeks off work, came up with the idea.
The personalised passport allows women to identify their needs and own their own menopause journey at work and it facilitates a way for them to indicate to line managers when they need more support. Adjustments could include taking more breaks, working different shifts, or sitting closer to the toilets or near air conditioning.
The overall message from the session was for the need for organisations and senior leaders to create a safe space for women who are experience either peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms to feel comfortable talking about them and the impact they are having on their work and provide support where possible, or risk losing talented and knowledgeable members of their workforce.
If you would like to hear more about My Menopause Centre or the Menopause passport, please do contact Hannah Wade who can share further information and who is an Associate Partner in the Healthcare practice.