Updated: May 18
The unspoken conversation… Did you watch Davina McCall: Sex, Mind and Menopause on Monday night? My husband and I sat transfixed on what was being shared. As no two women experience the same menopausal symptoms it is sometimes difficult to know if you are going through menopause. I wasn’t that surprised to hear some of the shocking statistics Davina was reporting as I’ve recorded two incredible episodes for Focus on WHY with two menopause champions both of whom shared their personal experiences and truths dispelling many myths around menopause. Firstly, in 102 Lean in to Change with Adelle Martin, with a misdiagnosis of anxiety at a key point in her career, Adelle took time out of her corporate banking role to understand why her body was changing and how she could manage those changes. She did not want to choose between her body or her well-earned career but this was what she was told had to happen. She was presented with the choice of going part-time or finding a less-demanding role. Adelle refused to believe that these were her only options and took a sabbatical to research alternative options available to her. She has since created a Midlife Resilience System to keep midlife women in business through this period of change and growth. “Step up and just lean in and understand what is going to happen to you. Don't make it a taboo subject, the more we talk about this, the more natural it becomes.” Adelle Martin Adelle has been inundated with messages from women who identify with her story. The focus in Davina’s programme was on women in the workplace but Adelle knows from the last two years that 32% of female business owners actually sell their business due to menopause and 51% take time off losing clients and income. This is why Adelle created her business to help businesswomen stay in their business. My second episode is 257 Women of a Certain Stage with Lauren Chiren. Believing that she was suffering from early-onset dementia in her 40s, Lauren left her senior role in financial services. Imagine her surprise when her doctor later informed her that she had 'just' been through menopause! Today Lauren educates employers on why being menopause-supportive is business-savvy and in sharing her knowledge she stimulates the debate on what being well means at all stages of life. Supporting high-performing women to successfully navigate their menopause with insightful directness, commercial pragmatism and absolute passion for ensuring optimum wellbeing and resilience, Lauren is championing women of a certain stage. “The purpose is to make sure no one else goes through what I did and that every single woman has access to the right knowledge and the right support so she can step into her personal power, boost her vitality and increase her influence at home and work and beyond.” Lauren Chiren Are you are aware of the effects of menopause on women of a certain stage? Lauren says that over 86% of women neither know what menopause is, nor how it may impact them. In a world where we now have more access to information than ever before how can this still be the case? It’s staggering really but sadly it is the case and Lauren’s business was founded because neither she, nor her firm recognised the signs and symptoms of menopause. I learnt from Lauren that menopause is in fact a single day. It marks the date of the last ever period and yet the word menopause is used to describe what I now know to be peri-menopause. Armed with the knowledge Lauren and Adelle shared I am now more in tune with what is going on with my own body and in sharing these episodes on Focus on WHY I am shining the light on what is happening to women at a certain stage in their lives and to make it as easy a life transition as possible. Please share both these episodes 102 and 257 with as many people as you think will benefit from hearing what Adelle and Lauren have to share about the education of this life stage for women and for those going through menopause. One key moment I took from Adelle’s episode is when she said she was coaching a lady and her son popped his head around the door and said, “thanks for giving me my mum back.” Wow! It just goes to show how much impact the menopause has not only on the individuals directly affected but on the lives of all those around too. I shared my reflections on Davina's programme on menopause on LinkedIn this week and was delighted to see how many people responded positively particularly from men. "I watched this last night and was shocked, like many others. My immediate reaction was "if this was an issue that affected men, we would have dispensed with the need for this awareness raising, research funding and treatment options years, if not decades ago." Hat tip to Davina McCall for doing this now.” Julian Steed “Great podcasts, Amy. I listened to them whilst in the gym this morning, and feeling grateful I’m a bloke! Women are simply amazing. This is such an important topic that has been largely ignored, forever!” Marcus Dimbleby Tune into both of these episodes and find out more about what is really going on with your body or the body of someone you know at home or in the workplace. As Adelle says let’s keep menotalking, let's keep the conversation going. Spread awareness far and wide. Focus on Menopause!
ACTION POINT When listening to these episodes with Adelle or Lauren sharing their stories, did you recognise yourself or anyone you know who has experienced scenarios as described? How could you educate yourself better on the impact menopause has on the women in your life and how could you best support them?