How does leadership affect menopause?
Posted on 14th August 2023 at 10:34
In case you missed our webinar - here is our own Natasha Bartlett in conversation with Bodyline Clinic's menopause expert Emma Wilkinson, talking about how leadership and attitudes of leaders and managers have a direct impact on people' s experience of menopause - whether you are the person going through menopause or work with someone who is.
Menopause is more than just hot flushes. Having a fan is all well and good but it’s not going to ensure that the ability to maintain a career trajectory.
A woman’s career development need not stop when she approaches her fifties - yet for many this is the case.
Research by the Fawcett Society shows:
One in ten women who worked during the menopause have left a job due to their symptoms.
Eight out of ten women say their employer hasn’t shared information, trained staff, or put in place a menopause absence policy.
Almost half of women haven’t approached their GPs and three in ten have seen delays in diagnosis.
Only four in ten women were offered HRT in a timely fashion.
We see menopause as a real issue for leadership, which is why we held webinar as part of the Institute of Leadership and Management’s International Leadership Week.
The symptoms are wide-ranging and can be confusing for everyone, not just for the person with menopause. Those around them can also have questions about why a colleague is behaving differently or what they can do to support their changing needs.
For business leaders, it's important to understand how menopause can impact their staff members and take steps so that they are not disadvantaged in their careers.
Create a supportive workplace culture
Great leadership fosters open communication and creates an environment of empathy and understanding. This creates the ideal backdrop for women to talk about their experiences with menopause without fear of being judged or disadvantaged.
But it’s not just enough to be open in communication, workplace policies and procedures should also be do not discriminate against women going through menopause.
Provide training and support for everyone
Business leaders can provide training and support to help the whole team manage the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. Menopause can affect everyone to an extent, and so it’s important that information and training is extended to everyone in the team.
Other team members may also have questions of their own - for example if their manager is experiencing menopause, the staff member may appreciate knowing how to cope with their own emotions that may arise as a result.
Menopause can cause physical and emotional symptoms that can impact a woman's productivity and work-life balance. Flexible working hours or work-from-home options could help staff members manage their symptoms and continue to perform at their best without being disadvantaged in their careers.
Address bias and stereotypes
Business leaders should be aware of biases and stereotypes that may negatively impact women going through menopause. This can include ageism and gender stereotypes that may assume that women going through menopause are less competent or less committed to their careers. Leaders should actively address such biases by educating the team on menopause and its impact, and ensure that any negative behaviour or comments are not tolerated.
Support career development
Business leaders can support the career development of women going through menopause by offering opportunities for training, mentoring, and career advancement. Leaders can ensure that women going through menopause have equal access to career development opportunities, and actively encourage and support their career goals.
What have we missed?
What has worked well in your workplace? Tell us in the comments below, and let’s all share knowledge of how to support all colleagues affected by menopause
Tagged as: #wellbeingintheworkplace #menopause
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