Night sweats, hot flashes. Is there a storm brewing?

How menopause  affects 27 million women every day?


Yes, you read that right. 27 million women – in the USA. It’s about 13 million in the UK. And I haven’t looked at the stats for mainland Europe. So, a whole lot of women. And it’s not a one-off  flavor-of-the-month topic. As  far as I can tell, women are not only going to carry on having menopause, but as the life time of a worker extends into their  60s and 70s (in the UK for instance, there is no enforceable retirement age) employers must face the fact that for at least 20% of their female population, menopause is going to cause symptoms that may affect performance. And it’s not just ‘performance’ – it’s engagement, progression,  self belief, colleagues, families and futures that can be negatively impacted too.


Is there a storm brewing?  Maybe not. But there are enough women in the same boat to create a massive wave for change. In many ways, the age-old silence has now been broken. Women in media, show business, big businesses and small, are at last, speaking up and speaking out. Just one example is the English radio celeb, Zoe Ball.

I believe the onus is on women who want to, to ask for support. It’s not an easy conversation, I’ll admit. But using the voice is an intrinsic aspect of this passage, in terms both cultural and holistic. We can’t pretend we don’t have the cycles that are intrinsic to women’s bodies and maintain balance within ourselves, and within wider contexts.

We have to shape this change. Employers may understand. Some may be helpful and empathetic but without upward pressure, it’s just one more thing on a very long HR ‘to do’ list – and without a clear and immediate bottom line impact to drive it.

Women understand best what is happening to them and what kind of support they need. We can leave a legacy by cutting a new path in the urban work jungle, so that those coming after us. don’t have to suffer in embarrassed silence or  minimise themselves, concerned that brain fog will rob them of a fact, figure or contribution at a pivotal moment.


Employers who make room for one menopausal woman to manage  her symptoms and her career, are, indeed worthy, but leaving a policy and cultural shift  for dozens and even hundreds of women, is even more so. And it’s our voices that should be singing the new tune!


Menopause discrimination?


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