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10 Ways To Start The Menopause Conversation In The Workplace

Written by: Tafiq Akhir, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Tafiq Akhir

Open conversations about menopause in the workplace is crucial in today's society. By openly discussing this natural phase in a woman's life, companies help to break down stigmas and dispel myths surrounding menopause, fostering a more informed and compassionate working environment.

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Embracing open discussions about menopause leads to greater awareness, inclusivity, and improved healthcare, benefiting employees' overall quality of life as they navigate this stage of life.

Starting the menopause conversation at work requires sensitivity and a thoughtful approach because even though it's an essential topic to discuss, it's also a personal matter, so respecting individual preferences and privacy is crucial.

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Here are ten ways to initiate the menopause conversation at work:

1. Educate yourself

Before starting the conversation, take the time to educate yourself about menopause and its potential impact on women in the workplace. Understanding the symptoms and challenges will help you approach the topic with empathy and knowledge.

2. Choose the right setting

Find an appropriate and private setting to discuss menopause. It could be a one-on-one meeting with a manager, a conversation with a trusted colleague, or even a formal presentation or workshop for the entire team.

3. Be respectful and empathetic

Approach the conversation with empathy and respect. Acknowledge that menopause is a natural process that affects individuals differently, and not everyone may feel comfortable discussing it openly.

4. Normalizing the topic

You can start the conversation by sharing information about menopause and its prevalence. Normalizing the discussion may encourage others to share their experiences or concerns more comfortably.

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5. Encourage openness

Express your willingness to listen and support employees who want to talk about their experiences or seek accommodations related to menopause. Ensure they know that the conversation will remain confidential if they wish.

6. Share resources

Provide information about available resources, such as support groups, educational materials, or employee assistance programs, where individuals can find additional help or guidance.

7. Sensitivity training

Consider providing or organizing sensitivity training on menopause awareness for managers and colleagues. It can help create a more understanding and supportive workplace culture.

8. Lead by example

If you feel comfortable doing so, share your personal experiences with menopause (if applicable) to set a positive example and show that it's okay to discuss this topic openly.

9. Collaborate with a menopause awareness specialist

HR Directors, Head of People, and even DEI Directors should work in tandem with a Menopause Awareness Specialist to help with opening the conversation. They can help implement training, certification, policies, and accommodations that support employees experiencing menopause.

10. Monitor progress

After initiating the conversation, keep an eye on the workplace dynamics to see if there's an increase in support and understanding surrounding menopause. Encourage ongoing communication to ensure the topic remains part of the workplace conversation.

Unfortunately, companies in the US are not up to speed with the dire need for menopause awareness in the workplace, but they should note that the menopause movement is coming, and organizations like Bristol Meyers Squibb, Bank of America, and Adobe have taken steps to help revolutionize workplaces for women experiencing menopause.

Menopause conversations create a safe space for women to share their experiences, concerns, and emotions, enabling individuals to decide on their health and well-being in an educated manner during this life altering period. Plus, open conversations about menopause, especially in the workplace, should also involve men, trans, and non-binary individuals, encouraging empathy and understanding while promoting support networks that are crucial for employees navigating this often challenging stage of life. To learn about different options and to get recommendations on what might be best for your organization, schedule a discovery call with me here.

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Tafiq Akhir Brainz Magazine

Tafiq Akhir, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Tafiq Akhir is a licensed menopause specialist, speaker, and healthy aging advocate with over 20 years of experience in health and fitness. Growing up, he witnessed the adverse effects of poor nutrition, a lack of adequate exercise, and unhealthy lifestyle choices on his mother, who passed away at 52. During his studies of hormone health, food, and fitness, Tafiq found that every health and weight issue she battled might have been minimized, reversed, or even avoided had she learned how to eat, exercise, and live for her body's unique needs. Tafiq's mission is to provide comprehensive hormone, health, and weight management resources and education for midlife women struggling with many of the overlooked and underserved health issues that women continue to suffer from unnecessarily with very little if any, support.



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