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Navigating Menopause With Grace – Four Habits Of Professional Executive Women

Written by: Stephanie Shaw, 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 Stephanie Shaw

As women continue to climb the corporate ladder, the realities of menopause can add an additional layer of complexity to their professional lives. Menopause, with its hormonal shifts and associated symptoms like hot flashes, sleepless nights, and anxiety, can impact various aspects of a woman's well-being, including her performance and confidence in the workplace.

Tired exhausted woman in eye glasses

While we all know there is a physical and an emotional cost, a 2023 study published by Mayo Clinic put a price tag on menopause. Mayo Clinic reported “an estimated $1.8 billion in lost work time per year and $26.6 billion annually when medical expenses are added.” These numbers only represent the women in the U.S. Lead author Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic Women’s Health, states, “a full 13% of the women surveyed experienced an adverse work outcome related to menopause symptoms, and about 11% were missing days of work because of these symptoms.”


While these numbers are staggering and could make one feel hopeless, there are effective strategies to navigate this transitional phase while continuing to excel in one’s career.


Here are four habits that professional executive women can implement to navigate menopause successfully in the workplace.


1. Open communication


It’s important to approach menopause with a proactive mindset. Understand the importance of open communication, not only for yourself but also for your colleagues and superiors. By fostering a workplace culture that encourages conversations about menopause, you can help break down stigmas and create a supportive work environment.


2. Prioritizing self-care


Maintaining a successful career during menopause often requires a renewed focus on self-care. To navigate this period with grace, you must prioritize your physical and mental well-being. This might involve adopting healthier lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and saying no to projects that don’t contribute to your overall health.


Additionally, it’s important to understand mental health. Engaging in mindfulness practices such as journaling or deep breathing, seeking professional support, or incorporating stress-management techniques into your daily routines are essential when dealing with menopause. By prioritizing self-care, you not only navigate the challenges of menopause more effectively but also set an example for your teams.


3. Flexibility and work-life integration


Recognizing that the traditional 9-to-5 model might not be conducive to optimal performance during menopause, you should embrace flexibility and work-life integration. Whether it's adjusting work hours, working remotely, or implementing flexible schedules, find ways to accommodate the unique needs that may arise for you during this phase.


Take the lead in your organization and promote a culture that values outcomes over rigid schedules. This type of supportive environment helps everyone—regardless of gender or age—so all can thrive. This approach shows that you not only support women going through menopause, but you also want to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.


4. Building a supportive network


You must build a strong support network. Whether connecting with other women experiencing similar challenges, seeking guidance from mentors, or engaging in open conversations with family and friends, building a support system is crucial.


You may ask how.


Foster supportive workplace cultures by encouraging mentorship programs, women's networks, and forums where experiences can be shared. By normalizing discussions around menopause and offering support to one another, you can be the catalyst for creating a sense of community that strengthens women’s personal and professional lives.


Menopause doesn't need to be a barrier to success for executive women. We do not need to leave our pride or money on the table. By embracing open communication, prioritizing self-care, adopting flexibility, and building a supportive network, leaders can pave the way for a more inclusive and understanding workplace.


If you are an employer looking for additional ways to support menopausal women in your organization, here is an article I wrote – Navigating menopause In The Workplace – Strategies For Supporting Employees.


If you are looking for ways to retain talent by supporting the women in your organization but are still determining the next steps, click here to schedule a talk.


Each week, Stephanie airs her podcast Hello, Hot Flash, where midlife women can learn from guest experts how to navigate menopause.


Find out more about Stephanie by reading her recent Brainz interview. You can also find Stephanie on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, or visit her website to learn more.

Stephanie Shaw Brainz Magazine
 

Stephanie Shaw, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Stephanie Shaw is the host of Hello, Hot Flash podcast. An educator by nature, Stephanie took the strategies she implemented to recover from a two-year illness and turned them into a weekly podcast and online education business where she teaches midlife women how to manage their hormones to lose weight, have more energy, and slow the aging process. Stephanie Shaw is the host of Hello, Hot Flash podcast. An educator by nature, Stephanie took the strategies she implemented to recover from a two-year illness and turned them into a weekly podcast and online education business where she teaches midlife women how to manage their hormones to lose weight, have more energy, and slow the aging process.

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