12 Oct Why Men need to be talking more about the Menopause
By Zak Collen
As a 27 year old man, many people find it strange that I’m so passionate about Menopause Awareness but I find it strange that most of my menopause sessions are usually 90% female. Men can and should be doing more when it comes to making the Menopause a more common topic of discussion in the workplace, and here are some ways that we can breach the subject.
I’m not asking all men to go away and study the different levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormones in the body, but having a basic knowledge of the symptoms of the Menopause and how these can affect people at work, is a must. From how brain-fog can over-complicate the simplest of tasks, to knowing that night sweats and insomnia can lead to extra fatigue during the day; having a good amount of knowledge on what people go through when they enter the Menopause, can leave you in good stead to breach the conversation already. Knowing the basic facts surrounding the menopause will make you more approachable and show you’re willing to listen and learn to help those around you.
It may sound obvious, but if only 10% of my sessions are male, no wonder that women feel intimidated to open up to men surrounding the Menopause. If more men attend the Menopause Awareness Sessions that we run, we won’t just see the stigma broken down further, but we’ll help achieve our point above surrounding the education of the topic. For too long, the Menopause has been the butt of the joke when it comes to a lot of ‘old boys club’ types of conversations in society, and by having men openly talk about the Menopause in a training session in a factual and inclusive manner, we will break down the stigma that still surrounds this in business settings.
Even if your business is 100% male, the Menopause will still affect us in our everyday lives as men, because people surrounding us will be going through it and we will want to help them in every way possible. Whether it be mothers, partners, wives or friends, we will be around those who are struggling with Menopausal symptoms. With approximately 13 million women in the UK either menopausal or peri-menopausal and over 60% of these suffering behavioural changes, it is most likely that we can help at least someone around us, and it doesn’t take much to help. Being able to actively support them in conversation can help to strengthen relationships, as well as by making those necessary adjustments such as letting people sleep alone, can do a lot to support people going through the Menopause.
A strong Menopause Policy can go a long way to not just be legally compliant in the workplace, but to support the largest growing demographic in our workplaces too, Menopausal women. This isn’t just a woman’s issue though, and the onus lays on men such as myself to keep this dialogue open and strive for more. This is why we’ve launched our Menopause Champion Training here at Thriving Workplaces and why we’re committed to furthering the conversation when it comes to the Menopause within businesses. If you’d like to find out more about how we offer this for free to our engaged businesses in Norfolk, email me at [email protected] or all of us at [email protected]!