There are more than 50 million women in the US navigating their menopause with many struggling to manage because of the stigma and secrecy surrounding this stage of their life. Unable to speak up, discuss their symptoms, seek support or help, many are finding their work and home life severely compromised.
Established seven years ago, Menopause Friendly led the charge in the UK to break the taboo around menopause at work by educating and training employers and their workforces to be menopause friendly. With over 450 menopause friendly employer members and over 70 recently achieving the Menopause Friendly Accreditation, Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace is now collaborating with MiDOViA to bring about these positive changes in the US.
Unprecedented new interest
Speeding things along is an unprecedented surge of interest and awareness of menopause thanks, in part, to media mogul Oprah Winfrey and journalist and author Maria Shriver using their platforms to spark meaningful conversations about menopause. Other influencers, such as Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama, are also driving essential conversations about symptoms, healthcare and empowerment.
Time to hit the accelerator
US employers must act now in order to keep experienced people in work. Significantly, 81% of US women aged between 45-54 are in paid employment and many are in leadership roles. They must all be supported to be their best at work.
“The UK is much further ahead of us and it’s time the US hit the accelerator to catch up,” says April Haberman, Co-Founder of MiDOViA. “Creating a menopause friendly workplace not only enhances talent retention and recruitment, it also reflects a moral commitment to supporting women during this significant life transition and contributes to a more inclusive and empathetic workplace culture,” she says. “With a growing focus on gender equity and an increased emphasis on employee wellbeing, workplace policies need to better cater to people’s unique needs. And that’s before you factor in the sharpened legal and ethical considerations that make it crucial for businesses to be menopause friendly.”
“There is a definite buzz around menopause in the US and MiDOViA is perfectly positioned to use this momentum to change the narrative around menopause and bring it out in the open,” says Deborah Garlick, CEO and founder of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace. “It’s never easy to alter attitudes and behaviours but I have enormous faith in April and her team’s ability to change the narrative, break the taboo and succeed in our joint mission to provide individuals with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about managing their menopause at work.”