47% of women who have needed a day off work due to Menopause symptoms say they wouldn’t tell their employer the real reason.  It’s time to talk about Menopause.

Conversations about Menopause should move away from the realm of embarrassment and taboo and instead should become normalised and unremarkable.

I interviewed Claudia Brett, Menopause and Health Promotion Coach, to find out more about her work to support women during Menopause. With a background in medical insurance underwriting and two children now in their teens, Claudia made the decision to study Health Promotion at university. This move has since led to her founding ‘menopause and more’, which empowers and coaches women in managing their Menopause.

What does well-being mean to you, Claudia?

As a Health Promotion Specialist, I understand how physical, intellectual, emotional and social well-being affect a person’s health, and also the impact of the Social Determinants of Health, such as lifestyle, work and the environment. This is, of course, different for every person. For me personally, wellbeing is an ongoing sense of feeling satisfied, whole and happy with my life, personal goals and achievements. It’s something I continuously strive towards.

What motivates your research into Menopause?

I became interested in the issues around Menopause towards the end of my degree, reading an academic paper about Menopause and Work (Griffiths, 2013). The more I learnt about menopausal issues affecting women in their daily lives and work, the more I became determined to change the existing barriers around the subject of Menopause. I want to ensure the conversation around Menopause is an educated and unremarkable one at home, at work, and in any other situations. I also want to empower women to understand this phase of their lives and take control of their health and well-being.

What are you currently doing to support women?

The aim of ‘menopause and more’ is to provide non-medical advice to aid and empower women in managing their Menopause. I take a holistic approach to coaching women on the options available to them, whether they are at the pre-, peri-, or post-menopausal stage of their lives. My aim is to encourage women to take stock of their lives and their journey into this phase, enabling them to be prepared and embrace it. I offer confidentiality, trust, and empathy, as well as constructive and practical advice. This can be established in 1-2-1 sessions as a one-off or over longer periods. In order to raise awareness and break the taboo, I also offer talks/workshops to groups of women, men, employers and employees. Often women, feeling empowered and informed, leave my sessions/workshops saying, ‘I wish I had known this before, it’s changed my life’.

Why do you think it’s so important to raise awareness in the workplace?

Women are the fastest growing workforce and a third of all working women are over the age of 50. However, 1 in 4 women over 50 consider stopping work because they don’t feel supported or understood during their Menopause. Losing valuable, experienced and loyal employees and having to recruit and train new employees is expensive. Raising awareness enables employers to retain talent, it opens conversations amongst staff and managers, and it reflects positively on their diversity policy and on business in general.

Half of the population will go through Menopause at some stage in their lives. This should be a strong argument for support and equality.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in raising awareness of Menopause?

Some years ago many health issues, and even pregnancy, were heavily stigmatised at work. We’ve come on leaps and bounds since then but we are only just scratching the surface of the Menopause.

The behaviour and language used when talking about Menopause can reinforce inequality to the disadvantage of women. One of the biggest challenges is to stop seeing Menopause as a ‘woman’s problem’ but rather as a positive change and one which is natural. Initiating an educated conversation will reduce the stigma and reluctance to talk about the menopause. This will enable the best possible support and well-being for each individual woman. Recognition that half the population will go through Menopause at some stage in their lives should be a strong argument for support and equality, not only in the workplace but also in life.

What are you looking forward to about collaborating with Tassic?

Collaborating with Tassic will be a fantastic opportunity for me because I feel many of my work values fit in with Tassic’s approach and philosophy on improving individual experiences and the benefits this brings to employers in retaining talent.

Our first collaboration will be to deliver an event that informs and inspires employers to support women managing Menopause at work.

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