Do you talk about the menopause at work?
This is a question that was asked of over 30 senior management and employees at Burton and South East Derbyshire College last week during the launch of ‘It’s Time to Talk About’, an initiative to train businesses and employees on how to effectively manage the menopause in the workplace.
The menopause is a natural process that affects women, yet over 80% admit they do not feel like they can talk about it at work, which has a major impact on both employers and employees. ‘It’s Time to Talk About’ has been designed to discuss issues such as these. The training encourages honesty between employers and employees and provides education for both parties on how to deal with the challenging situations they find themselves in.
The 45-minute sessions at the college were delivered as part of equality and diversity training. Discussions were based around real life scenarios and the difference between what women would and should do. Women admitted they have given a large range of excuses to hide the truth of their symptoms and they blamed missing meetings, poor performance or being off sick on a range of illnesses including the flu, a cold and headaches.
‘It’s Time to Talk About’ was founded by Julie Gibson, who is 50 and on HRT.
“The idea for ‘It’s Time to Talk About’ came from my own personal experience as a working woman going through the menopause. I initially suffered in silence and even contemplated giving up work altogether, before I decided I wanted to change both my attitude and others in my situation. It made me realise women are not supported in the way they should be, and choose to cover up the reality of what they are going through.
“It’s Time to Talk About is designed to be a more practical, reality based training session for both employers and employees. I am not a doctor or a lawyer, I do not know the medical or legal implications of this topic, but I do know how it feels to be a woman in that position and I want to raise awareness and help both businesses and their employees to get support and understanding to allow women to continue their careers in the same way they always have.”
As a teacher, schools and college inspector and trainer, Julie aims to combine her professional and personal experience to provide high quality, informative and approachable training sessions for both men and women working in businesses across a range of sectors. If you would like any further information on It’s Time to Talk and the range of training options they provide, from online sessions to bespoke packages, please email Julie Gibson.