Sharon MacArthur is the founder of Miss Menopause; a place she created to educate women and men on the menopause after failing to find any information herself, both from doctors and the internet when she started experiencing symptoms. We spoke to Sharon to find out more about why it’s important to talk about the menopause in the workplace
The menopause is a life-changing event for women, yet it remains a taboo subject in the workplace. With symptoms ranging from hot flushes and memory problems to depression and insomnia, it’s difficult for working women to contend with these additional stresses on a regular basis as well as the existing pressures of balancing work and home life.
Sharon said: “The opportunities for women in leading roles are ever-increasing, so why should women have to turn down high-profile jobs because they have not been given the techniques to be able to cope with the challenges that the menopause brings? There are around 3.5 million women in work over the age of 50, with 51 being the average age for starting the menopause in the UK. Alarmingly, it’s estimated that only 3 per cent of organisations in this country are recognising the huge impact of menopause in the workplace.”
Speaking about why she began Miss Menopause, Sharon said: “When I was going through the menopause, I found that there wasn’t enough information readily available for women, such as myself, experiencing such a huge life event. When I attended mental health courses to find out more information, I was shocked to hear that the menopause is never even considered a talking point. It was then I decided to start Miss Menopause to create an outlet to both educate and support women through this time in their life.
“I am keen to educate employers on how they can educate all of their workforce about this subject and, most importantly, equip women with the skills as to what to expect and how to deal with this life event.”
Sharon is passionate about unlocking women’s potential and ensuring they are armed with the knowledge needed to be able to balance their workload in order to reach the top of their professions, so here are her top tips:
- You can support your colleagues by talking about the subject of menopause and finding out what it’s all about.
- Workplaces should offer training to all of their staff on the subject of menopause.
- Join a group or set up a group so Menopause chat can become business as usual.
- Overall know that you’re not alone and all women will go through this life event known as menopause.