The subject of menopause in the workplace has received a lot more media attention in the past twelve months. There are many reasons for this.
Firstly, there are more women over 50 in the workplace than ever before. Employers are starting to understand the benefits to their performance and their brand of supporting employees at this stage of life. And, more women are citing menopause symptoms as an issue in employment law cases.
My guest this week, Kate Usher, is an author, coach and change strategist with a specialism in Menopause and gender equality. She works with women and organizations to create simple strategies that enable modern and supportive Menopause conversations.
Together, we will be talking about the steps employers can take to break the silence around menopause and create a more profitable, equal and diverse workplace.
Pat begins the show talking about menopause awareness month; with Menopause awareness day being on the 18th. She then starts to discuss news in the media that focused on menopause in the workplace. Pat reads from Times UK that wrote about a new law that would declare HRT free for women in the UK. She went on to talk about other publications that discussed breaking the silence on menopause in the workplace. Retailers like ASOS are changing their policy to have flexible hours and paid leave for women during menopause. Before the break, Pat and her guest Kate Usher discuss an article that was against menopause awareness. Pat and Kate brought up great points like equal pay, mental health in the work place, and transgender issues as examples as to why we should speak up in order to see change.
Pat introduces her guest Kate Usher. Pat talks about how they met and Kate’s experience with coaching. Kate specializes in menopause and gender equality. She is an internationally published author with her book, Your Second Phase: Reclaiming Work and Relationships During and After Menopause, short listed as Business Book of the Year award of 2021. Kate talked more about her background and how she started her career. She discussed her twenty year career as a project manager. She talked about how she eventually made the leap into coaching and menopause awareness when her symptoms started at 46. Before the end of the break, Pat and her guest Kate discussed the positive side of menopause. They talked about being in an empowering stage where you're given a boost of energy to do what you want to do.
Coming back from the break, Pat and Kate discussed the importance of organizations and employers to talk about menopause. Kate brought up valuable points on why businesses would benefit from retaining experienced women. She went on to talk about how menopausal women are their most able, experienced, and networked; they should be valued not replaced. Pat and Kate talked about the negative outcomes of losing valuable employees. They discussed the cost and time it would take to replace them when they can be used as mentors. Before the break, Pat and Kate gave a top tip on menopause. Always talk about menopause.
In the last segment, Pat and Kate continued giving their top tips on menopause. Pat and Kate suggested going beyond talking about menopause in the workplace. They said to take action. Pat added that it’s best to hire experts like herself or Kate to relieve the intimating stress of researching. Before the end of the show Pat and Kate gave links to find their work and ways to continue the discussion on menopause.
00:05:23.640 --> 00:05:34.410 Pat Duckworth: Welcome to hot women rock radio show empowering women leaders at menopause and we're rocking it out here today, and my guest in the studio is K asha.
00:05:35.010 --> 00:05:40.230 Pat Duckworth: i'm keeping off Mike at the moment because, once we start talking it's just going to go so.
00:05:41.010 --> 00:05:50.910 Pat Duckworth: Good morning, if you're in America good afternoon in the UK and good evening if you're in India and if you're in Australia, I hope, you've got your pjs on because it affects time of the day.
00:05:51.660 --> 00:06:03.360 Pat Duckworth: And this week we're going to be talking about menopause in the workplace, this is menopause awareness month medicals Awareness Day is the 18th of October so we're getting right down into it today.
00:06:03.750 --> 00:06:12.270 Pat Duckworth: But before we start let's have a look at what's in the media, and I have focused on the workplace stuff today because that's where our heads are at.
00:06:12.930 --> 00:06:22.500 Pat Duckworth: Although I start with a piece from the times in the UK new law would make hormone replacement therapy hrt free on prescription for women.
00:06:22.800 --> 00:06:33.960 Pat Duckworth: So if you're in the US, you might be thinking, I thought you've got your stuff free anyway, what we have to pay for prescriptions now if you're getting a monthly, quarterly prescription.
00:06:34.860 --> 00:06:44.520 Pat Duckworth: That cost can really add up if you're taking something for five or more years it's nine pounds 35 so it's over $10 a prescription.
00:06:45.210 --> 00:06:49.770 Pat Duckworth: So that can be quite a lot of money, particularly if you're not earning too much and.
00:06:50.370 --> 00:07:02.520 Pat Duckworth: Those prescriptions are already free in Scotland and Wales so we're really hoping that England will catch up and make that free for women it's not like they're doing it on a whim, you know they need it.
00:07:03.330 --> 00:07:15.570 Pat Duckworth: So they're moving on to the Scotsman newspaper time to shatter the taboo and start talking more openly and honestly about menopause that's an article by allison weather head.
00:07:15.990 --> 00:07:22.470 Pat Duckworth: she's saying let's be clear it's not for employers to start diagnosing women with medicals we don't want that.
00:07:23.040 --> 00:07:30.870 Pat Duckworth: But there is a place for employers to ensure that their female staff have access to the information and support they need that's what we're looking for.
00:07:31.350 --> 00:07:35.100 Pat Duckworth: Their support could start with mentoring and coaching in the workplace.
00:07:35.520 --> 00:07:46.650 Pat Duckworth: Kate night we do this stuff having access to someone who's there to listen and provide support could easily bridge the gap between a woman who's feeling alone, and after loss.
00:07:47.070 --> 00:07:51.900 Pat Duckworth: And one is feeling comfortable and supportive as they navigate their new normal.
00:07:52.440 --> 00:08:02.730 Pat Duckworth: So this is just so important because women can enter perimenopausal stage before menopause feeling like what they're experiencing is only then.
00:08:03.540 --> 00:08:14.340 Pat Duckworth: And they they just don't feel like they can talk to anybody about it and often they don't even talk their mom or their sisters about it and they just thinking, are what what's this Am I really ill.
00:08:14.700 --> 00:08:25.350 Pat Duckworth: So, providing support and this article goes on to say normalizing conversation about most changes as part of working life can only be a good step.
00:08:25.890 --> 00:08:41.970 Pat Duckworth: totally agree The Scotsman let's Keep it up from the Daily Mail I Kate might be surprises from from the Daily Mail to boot busting city giant pw see that's what what used to be Price Waterhouse Cooper a huge accountancy firm.
00:08:43.050 --> 00:08:49.110 Pat Duckworth: city john P wc to teach it's managers, how to talk to staff about the medicals excellent.
00:08:49.650 --> 00:08:59.490 Pat Duckworth: Accounting firm Peter is he will train managers on how to talk to self on menopause it will give managers guidance on how to broach the subject with it staff.
00:08:59.970 --> 00:09:15.120 Pat Duckworth: P wc has also rolled out health insurance for women struggling with medicals thumbs up pw see the accounting company will be the first major city firm to address the issue pw see which has 22 we're giving them lots of name check.
00:09:16.230 --> 00:09:17.460 Pat Duckworth: I appreciate.
00:09:18.780 --> 00:09:27.510 Pat Duckworth: Has 22,000 staff in the UK, two of whom almost half of women and they confirmed it will be providing guidance for line managers.
00:09:28.680 --> 00:09:35.970 Pat Duckworth: to broach the subject with anybody who wishes to discuss the napoles Well done, Peter do you see the daily record.
00:09:36.480 --> 00:09:44.250 Pat Duckworth: Against Scottish sterling Council reviews menopause policy to include transgender and under 40s.
00:09:45.000 --> 00:09:53.610 Pat Duckworth: really important here, one of the first questions I had when I did my first medicals workshop was how about transgender people.
00:09:54.210 --> 00:10:03.600 Pat Duckworth: And if you are transitioning from female to male you might undergo hormone therapy, you might undergo surgery.
00:10:04.170 --> 00:10:11.280 Pat Duckworth: That will take you into metaphors so transgender people need to be considered as well, women going into early menopause.
00:10:11.700 --> 00:10:20.520 Pat Duckworth: menopause before the age of 40 which can be quite natural or can be hysterectomies or medical treatment, needs to be in there as well.
00:10:20.940 --> 00:10:30.780 Pat Duckworth: So the council's finance and economy committee recently heard from HR managers who reviewed the guidance for managers and employees to ensure.
00:10:31.080 --> 00:10:42.570 Pat Duckworth: Innovative best practice supports our employees at the early earliest possible stage so we're handing out we're handing out badges today, well done sterling Council.
00:10:45.180 --> 00:10:51.390 Pat Duckworth: In the blank website in Australia, why it's time to talk about menopause at work.
00:10:52.020 --> 00:10:59.550 Pat Duckworth: So more employees are now starting to see the supporting women through menopause benefits not only their staff members.
00:11:00.120 --> 00:11:05.190 Pat Duckworth: But the bottom line as well we keep telling you this, this is about the bottom line.
00:11:05.850 --> 00:11:16.800 Pat Duckworth: Theo color well being specialist and creator of the menopause at work, training program says to boost surrounding menopause can exacerbate it's frequently challenging Simpson.
00:11:17.190 --> 00:11:25.800 Pat Duckworth: Yes, if you're feeling on your own and stressed and, like you, can't talk to anybody yeah it will get worse.
00:11:26.310 --> 00:11:39.240 Pat Duckworth: i've interviewed about 50 women about their experience with menopause and the standout themes around secrecy and isolation and feeling like they had to hide the experience of going through menopause at work.
00:11:39.990 --> 00:11:59.640 Pat Duckworth: Yes, Professor gammon jack associate Dean research impact and Professor of management at monash university is part of the core research team behind women work in the menopause of program of academic study to explore the experiences of metaphors menopause for professional women.
00:12:00.690 --> 00:12:10.200 Pat Duckworth: It can help women reach senior levels in organizations and research shows that when you've got more women at the top, the organizational performance better.
00:12:10.500 --> 00:12:30.270 Pat Duckworth: But recent research suggests that 45% of women going through menopause considered retiring or taking a break from work, yes, we know this you're losing women from organizations knowledgeable experienced women you don't even know why they going to say can't tell you it's about menopause.
00:12:31.740 --> 00:12:38.490 Pat Duckworth: Somewhere in the range of 4% to 10% actually do leave now you you don't know.
00:12:39.030 --> 00:12:45.900 Pat Duckworth: That they've left because of menopause because they don't tell you, and if you don't do an exit interview, and they don't feel comfortable saying it you still want man.
00:12:46.380 --> 00:12:54.750 Pat Duckworth: So this is really important it's the silence, not just the symptoms that might work until a tenable for some.
00:12:55.350 --> 00:13:12.750 Pat Duckworth: Yes, it for silence which brings us on oh no I won't go there yet, because Kate just saw a new news item that says a sauce have just announced that they are giving star flexible work and paid leave during medicals well done a sauce.
00:13:13.770 --> 00:13:28.740 Pat Duckworth: So that comes from the Guardian here in the UK, so a leading online retailer giving women menopause sleep fantastic now let's get to the one that's more controversial and I think that Kate will press unmute.
00:13:29.880 --> 00:13:41.250 Pat Duckworth: Any moment mail, as the steam rises from the Daily Telegraph here in the UK, the headline is forcing staff to attend menopause awareness courses.
00:13:41.610 --> 00:14:02.400 Pat Duckworth: will be an albatross around women's next basis by senior warden such a heavy handed approach only perpetuates the stigma that at various points of their lives, we are incapable of doing our jobs, this is why we get the silence and the prejudice, Kate.
00:14:04.350 --> 00:14:06.900 Pat Duckworth: I can see you twitching there come on.
00:14:08.070 --> 00:14:08.550 Pat Duckworth: I was.
00:14:08.760 --> 00:14:19.710 Kate Usher: biting my lip there, so I mean it's an utter nonsense basically if if we look at a park comparable, so if we look at mentally ill health, for instance.
00:14:20.100 --> 00:14:30.840 Kate Usher: it's certainly something that we've moved hugely forward with over the last decade, but that is because we have talks about it, and we have talked about openly.
00:14:31.170 --> 00:14:42.360 Kate Usher: And everybody is done that, and because of that that to be that's associated with mental health has moved on, is it's lessened is no longer what it was.
00:14:43.500 --> 00:14:49.890 Pat Duckworth: So, in order for us to do that to menopause, we have to talk about it and.
00:14:50.370 --> 00:15:02.520 Pat Duckworth: you've just been talking about the silence and the isolation and women feel that all the time and if we don't talk about it, we reinforce the silence.
00:15:02.880 --> 00:15:15.180 Pat Duckworth: So it's a nonsensical statement to say that it's an albatross because it's the ticket to being free of the taboo absolutely absolutely.
00:15:15.720 --> 00:15:21.510 Pat Duckworth: And this is a point i've probably made it on the show before I am saying it again okay that.
00:15:22.020 --> 00:15:30.750 Pat Duckworth: You know, in order to get equal pay back in the 1970s, we had to talk about women getting equal pay it didn't just happen.
00:15:31.050 --> 00:15:43.020 Pat Duckworth: Men didn't Sunday go to or I think we should give women equal pay for women to talk about it and some women were frightened that it wouldn't mean they wouldn't get jobs anymore, if they were being given equal pay.
00:15:43.470 --> 00:15:53.130 Pat Duckworth: And then we got to the station maternity leave, we weren't just given maternity leave, it had to be talked about, and once it started being talked about.
00:15:53.490 --> 00:16:01.050 Pat Duckworth: Then it was yeah this just doesn't make sense to give women maternity leave and that meant that more women could stay in the workplace.
00:16:01.500 --> 00:16:15.510 Pat Duckworth: But all that training or the education or the experience so they'd had they could carry on using once they came back and, of course, maternity leave letter paternity leave and so that men were able to contribute more.
00:16:16.140 --> 00:16:24.210 Pat Duckworth: And then we get these things like you know mental illness and how we've talked about that or really about mental health in the workplace.
00:16:25.110 --> 00:16:41.220 Pat Duckworth: All these subjects come up transgender comes up in the workplace and let's talk about it, and if people don't understand it if you don't do the awareness raising, how do you expect all your staff to understand what's going on, so.
00:16:42.300 --> 00:16:46.230 Pat Duckworth: This is all about Breaking the Silence way and again.
00:16:47.760 --> 00:17:00.600 Kate Usher: It is absolutely about Breaking the Silence that I mean the thing is is, if you allow staff, not to to attend the awareness sessions, not to be part of this.
00:17:00.900 --> 00:17:07.200 Kate Usher: And then What it does is it compares compartmentalize as menopause again as a minor issue.
00:17:07.500 --> 00:17:18.540 Kate Usher: That is only a women's issue and I hate that term it's an every body issue because women don't live in isolation, we interact with everybody in our workplaces in our lives.
00:17:18.900 --> 00:17:28.620 Kate Usher: So, therefore, we all know what woman in some capacity, whether we are a woman, whether it's a family member or friend or colleague, we all know, someone, so we have to know.
00:17:28.980 --> 00:17:47.880 Kate Usher: about this life event because we're all going to experience it so it's so critical that we all attend it no X no excuses right from the post room to the boardroom men, women and you know, we were all there so.
00:17:48.150 --> 00:17:54.390 Pat Duckworth: We can all understand what's happening to women and be advocates and allies.
00:17:57.210 --> 00:18:10.260 Pat Duckworth: allies, and you know i've done sessions that Cheshire fire service and I did my session and then one of the firefighters stood up and talked about his experience of supporting his wife.
00:18:10.830 --> 00:18:18.870 Pat Duckworth: That while she wasn't getting the treatment that she needed for she wasn't sleeping well, he was worrying about her he wasn't sleeping well.
00:18:19.290 --> 00:18:27.570 Pat Duckworth: he's a firefighter you know we want him to be his best so this isn't just about the effects on women, although you know.
00:18:28.020 --> 00:18:38.670 Pat Duckworth: We need to know about that, but it's the effects that that has on the people who live around us as well and, of course, some men get symptoms let's get it out there and talk about it.
00:18:39.270 --> 00:18:52.050 Pat Duckworth: Who will be coming back after the break to formally introduce you to Kate before we really get going and finding out more about the work that she's doing in this area as well we'll see you after the break.
00:21:05.310 --> 00:21:08.460 Pat Duckworth: i'm so busy playing a guitar I forgot to press my mom knew.
00:21:09.840 --> 00:21:33.870 Pat Duckworth: I was doing a radio anyway welcome back to the hot women rock radio show empowering women leaders at menopause where this week we're talking about Breaking the Silence around menopause in the workplace and my guest is Kate asha and Kate and I were invited into a group on particular.
00:21:35.460 --> 00:21:46.650 Pat Duckworth: House a few weeks ago and we both joined in and then said, we really must talk to each other, because we both work in this area of raising awareness of the issues around menopause in the workplace.
00:21:47.010 --> 00:21:52.410 Pat Duckworth: And we enjoyed our chat so much we thought we really must have another chat on the radio show.
00:21:52.980 --> 00:21:59.760 Pat Duckworth: So katie's and experience coaching change strategist with a specialism in menopause and gender equality.
00:22:00.450 --> 00:22:08.280 Pat Duckworth: She works with women and organizations to create simple strategies that enable modern and supportive menopause conversations.
00:22:08.700 --> 00:22:18.840 Pat Duckworth: This increases awareness of this life phase it's pivotal impact on equality across the workforce and representation in senior and executive positions.
00:22:19.230 --> 00:22:38.040 Pat Duckworth: she's an internationally published author her book your second phase reclaiming work and relationships during after menopause is available all around the world, and was shortlisted for the business book of the year award in 2021 Kate welcome to the show well, thank you.
00:22:38.070 --> 00:22:43.860 Kate Usher: very much for inviting me, I mean it's goodness me, we can talk for hours on this subject.
00:22:44.160 --> 00:22:45.030 Pat Duckworth: I know.
00:22:46.770 --> 00:22:49.050 Pat Duckworth: strapping everybody we're gonna have to talk.
00:22:52.200 --> 00:22:56.160 Pat Duckworth: When you tell me a bit about your career, how did you start out.
00:22:57.300 --> 00:23:07.920 Kate Usher: Okay, well, I had nearly 28 career as a project manager and change management and I worked for footsie 100 organizations and I was.
00:23:08.550 --> 00:23:21.000 Kate Usher: flying in places around the world, some of them are very far flung to create bonded and effective project teams and and often, it was because they weren't working properly.
00:23:22.050 --> 00:23:37.710 And, and that was all fantastic, and then the financial crisis hit, and I was made redundant and i'd already trained as a psychotherapist and as a coach and I just pick that up seamlessly and then my menopause hit.
00:23:39.180 --> 00:23:43.530 And it absolutely devastated me and within six months.
00:23:44.880 --> 00:23:49.230 ago getting individual to someone who could not get out the front door.
00:23:53.280 --> 00:24:03.810 Pat Duckworth: yeah so it's worth pointing out yeah just after my birthday I got my first night sweat so happy birthday.
00:24:07.440 --> 00:24:19.410 Kate Usher: yeah and it was it was tough, it was really, really hard and the symptoms came in in waves and I just started to use the skills, I had.
00:24:19.920 --> 00:24:40.350 Kate Usher: To save myself, because nobody that seven years ago was talking about menopause at all, except the fabulous woman's out on BBC Radio four and but other than that nobody talks about menopause and I, I really did feel isolated and really, really lonely.
00:24:41.610 --> 00:24:55.500 Pat Duckworth: So I started to do this, just to save myself really yeah see me, can I help them back if somebody did say the word mentor pause it was normally derogatory.
00:24:56.220 --> 00:25:07.410 Pat Duckworth: You know, like oh she's a menopausal woman Oh, it must be a manner Poles, you know it's never said in a nice way I was a business committee meeting for an event.
00:25:08.130 --> 00:25:15.450 Pat Duckworth: And it was being arranged as a family fun day, but it was for all the businesses in the area, and I said.
00:25:15.870 --> 00:25:25.200 Pat Duckworth: You know, family fun day kind of excludes a lot of people from an event because it sounds like it's really for younger people and kids.
00:25:25.860 --> 00:25:37.770 Pat Duckworth: And you know for our businesses, a lot of the people who've got money are the older people and the guy sitting next to me said oh what so we marketed for menopausal women.
00:25:40.080 --> 00:25:48.000 Pat Duckworth: And I thought that fell like a lead balloon seriously, to say something like that, and this is what.
00:25:49.110 --> 00:26:04.800 Pat Duckworth: A few years ago, this was all you ever heard about this was like menopausal women like it was the biggest insult you could give because it combined age with symptoms and you know whole load of negative connotation.
00:26:05.970 --> 00:26:14.100 Pat Duckworth: take it away okay so you're you're you've been through your medical well you're going for a you've had all the symptoms and now you start helping other women.
00:26:15.030 --> 00:26:26.670 Kate Usher: yeah I do so, I work with organizations and I go in and I increase awareness, so I do all the things that that we've just discussed so talk about men and pause and we.
00:26:27.450 --> 00:26:37.530 Kate Usher: You know, raise awareness of what it actually is, and we, you know take it head on, that bias and that taboo that we have, because we have it.
00:26:38.100 --> 00:27:00.870 Kate Usher: because all of the media that we've all watched as We grew up in the 70s and the 80s and even the 90s so every time a woman over the age of 40 was referenced it was always really negatively, and if the word man, a pause came up and if because it rarely did it was almost you know.
00:27:02.010 --> 00:27:19.020 Kate Usher: Not a boo Oh, my good that you know not menopause and I we can't talk about that, but every single thing was was women were over the Hill, we were past it we were old we were difficult unpredictable.
00:27:20.370 --> 00:27:29.340 Pat Duckworth: And there was an, as you say, never anything good was ever said about it so it's about facing those Those sort of.
00:27:29.730 --> 00:27:47.280 Pat Duckworth: Stereotypes head on and talking about that and outing it what it is because we're we're all subject to it we've all been given as we were growing up, you have to replace it with something far more constructive and positive, and again I was asked a question.
00:27:48.540 --> 00:27:57.930 Pat Duckworth: I was delivering a workshop to a bunch of women, and you know starting off by defining some of the terms because women often don't understand.
00:27:58.260 --> 00:28:09.480 Pat Duckworth: What menopause actually means and what perimenopause means, and I was defining it and setting out the symptoms now there's there are there's potentially a lot of symptoms.
00:28:09.810 --> 00:28:20.910 Pat Duckworth: But I was saying very clearly, you may not get any or you may get all the things we don't know because every woman's different and one woman put her hand quite kind of nervous, the answer.
00:28:21.390 --> 00:28:29.640 Pat Duckworth: Is there anything good about it and i'm looking at UK i'm looking at myself i'm thinking we're looking pretty good actually.
00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:31.260 Pat Duckworth: yeah I think.
00:28:33.900 --> 00:28:39.150 I talked about that too so women at this phase in our lives are.
00:28:39.630 --> 00:28:48.330 becoming more powerful than we have ever been we've got centuries of this negative talk about us at this age.
00:28:48.660 --> 00:28:57.570 And it means that we don't recognize what's available to us, we just kind of take a step back, instead of taking a step forward.
00:28:57.900 --> 00:29:06.810 And it is very much of our phase in women's lives as I age sturgeon subsides, so our mothering hormone lessons.
00:29:07.140 --> 00:29:23.760 Then we become the focus of our lives, more so than ever before and we have all that experience all that knowledge all that capability in association with that we are a force to be reckoned with and that's what we have to talk about.
00:29:24.840 --> 00:29:33.330 Pat Duckworth: Absolutely and and so many women at this phase of life, so another positive if that you give less of one.
00:29:35.370 --> 00:29:42.120 Pat Duckworth: Because you I hear what you're going to do to me, so there is an adage strength that comes with that.
00:29:42.840 --> 00:29:58.290 Pat Duckworth: And as you're saying K this opportunity to focus on what we want to do, and for many women that might be a change of career, it might be a focus on a cause or a charity or.
00:29:58.650 --> 00:30:09.030 Pat Duckworth: You know something that suddenly you've got the time to feel passionate about even if you're dealing with children, getting growing up getting ready to leave home.
00:30:09.390 --> 00:30:17.580 Pat Duckworth: Older parents your job, all the stuff that women do they're still not having to go through that monthly cycle.
00:30:18.210 --> 00:30:32.460 Pat Duckworth: Not worrying about reproductive issues, it can be very powerful in releasing your energy and I said that to this woman, that there is like a boost of energy of okay now I can do what I wanted.
00:30:33.810 --> 00:30:40.860 Pat Duckworth: yeah completely agree with that and the number of times that you hear women say you know what I just can't be bothered with that anymore.
00:30:41.220 --> 00:30:49.500 Pat Duckworth: And I can't tell you what it is, but I know I just can't be bothered with all of that nonsense and i'm just going to focus on what it is that I want, and I think that.
00:30:50.430 --> 00:30:55.020 Pat Duckworth: they're the signals and instead of saying you know what I can't tell what it is saying.
00:30:55.590 --> 00:31:09.300 Pat Duckworth: This is my time this is when I become what I want to become and that's incredibly powerful and we should think about that, when we're at the beginning of this process, instead of just.
00:31:09.630 --> 00:31:26.160 Pat Duckworth: Looking at the in the in when you're going through those those symptoms, or those changes which let's face it can be very difficult indeed it is the light at the end of the tunnel it's the best at the end that says wow yeah.
00:31:28.410 --> 00:31:39.690 Pat Duckworth: I recognized for some women, they will be grief surrounding in there will be that sense of loss of your reproductive self I get it, you know.
00:31:40.200 --> 00:31:49.260 Pat Duckworth: I didn't feel that, personally, but I know that for some women that being a reproductive woman is a very powerful thing.
00:31:49.650 --> 00:31:59.250 Pat Duckworth: And there can be that sense of loss around it that's Okay, you know we pass through grief we recognize it and we can pass through it.
00:31:59.670 --> 00:32:06.360 Pat Duckworth: And it's understanding that there is something the other side of it in my book menopause mind the gap that's why on the.
00:32:06.690 --> 00:32:17.250 Pat Duckworth: Cover i've got this woman leaping between two buildings, so I want to say there is this space in the middle, where something's happening and there's a happy landing, the other side of it.
00:32:17.850 --> 00:32:31.590 Pat Duckworth: And you talk about your second phase, because this is like it's not over there's another face yeah absolutely and it's, as I say, it's your face, and we need to talk about that I love the cover of that book, by the way.
00:32:36.150 --> 00:32:36.480 Pat Duckworth: yeah.
00:32:37.500 --> 00:32:50.190 Pat Duckworth: yeah and thinking about your metaphors as the foundation for your next 20 3040 years with might see my I can just struggle through with i'll get to the other five.
00:32:50.880 --> 00:33:00.450 Pat Duckworth: Know you're setting the foundations for the rest of your life, you may have another 50 years, how do you want to be heard you want to be yeah.
00:33:01.290 --> 00:33:17.760 Pat Duckworth: Your health to be yeah and that and that those that foundation drives what happens in the next phase, so, if you look after yourself now you're setting it up for the next phase, do you want to be as gorgeous as Kate and I that's the question isn't there.
00:33:20.040 --> 00:33:27.510 Pat Duckworth: Because if you're not watching us on Facebook, you might be thinking, I wonder what you can go find us smashing it absolutely.
00:33:29.220 --> 00:33:41.970 Pat Duckworth: We definitely are today so we're going to be talking with still staying in the area of workplace menopause because there's still lots of work to do in this area so join us after the break we'll be talking about.
00:33:42.240 --> 00:33:46.800 Pat Duckworth: What employers can do to support women at menopause we'll see you after the break.
00:36:22.620 --> 00:36:44.160 Pat Duckworth: Welcome back to the hot women rock radio show and powering women leaders at menopause where my guests in the studio today is Kate asha so Kate let's get down and dirty with it, why is important to organizations and employers to talk about menopause what is the win for them.
00:36:45.570 --> 00:36:54.780 Pat Duckworth: Okay well there's loads of things, but essentially primarily the most important thing is that they retain some of their most valuable staff so.
00:36:54.810 --> 00:37:01.200 Kate Usher: that's all about the fact that when women reach this point in their lives, just like men in their mid 40s.
00:37:01.740 --> 00:37:13.710 Kate Usher: They are at their most valuable they are their most qualified them most able their most experience there most networks, whether that's internally or externally.
00:37:14.250 --> 00:37:23.730 Kate Usher: And to replace them costs a lot of money so it's not just you're replacing like for like because you're not.
00:37:24.060 --> 00:37:32.730 Kate Usher: Actually, you need to factor in not only your recruitment costs, but the loss of time that it takes for you to a recruit a new person.
00:37:33.000 --> 00:37:38.700 Kate Usher: And then be to get them up and running, because that takes time, even if they're an experienced individual.
00:37:39.210 --> 00:37:51.540 Kate Usher: And it also means that you lose the investment that you've already made in that person so you've lost all of that training all of that mentoring that walks out the door with them.
00:37:52.320 --> 00:38:07.680 Kate Usher: On that point of mentoring, they are because of their abilities within your organization and within their industry at that point, they can be mentors to younger people as well and that's men and women.
00:38:08.820 --> 00:38:21.150 Pat Duckworth: So it's really important that you start to look at the whole tale of employment because that's the impact that losing someone at this point in their career has.
00:38:21.540 --> 00:38:29.100 Pat Duckworth: yeah I also we're focusing more and more on gender equality in this senior roles.
00:38:29.550 --> 00:38:40.560 Pat Duckworth: And that's gender equity equity means you have to put a bit more results in at this stage it's not just about we treat everybody equally that's great.
00:38:40.920 --> 00:38:46.800 Pat Duckworth: But some people need a bit more help and support we get into the equity and also.
00:38:47.280 --> 00:39:02.340 Pat Duckworth: Thinking about your brand I mean it's great to see that asis doing this people get really good publicity from this, but not only that by supporting and talking to their women about this they're going to understand their customers more.
00:39:03.840 --> 00:39:16.350 Pat Duckworth: They can understand what they're going through, so this does great things for their brand channel for put in place them in apple's policy at the time that they were doing the divina Merkel.
00:39:17.160 --> 00:39:31.290 Pat Duckworth: documentary program that we saw a few months ago it's no coincidence that they did that around that same time but it puts Channel four on the moral high ground of where we're not only making the program we're doing something for our staff.
00:39:32.070 --> 00:39:40.350 Pat Duckworth: And you find this all over you know a lot of companies in the media in PR have embraced menopause in the workplace.
00:39:40.650 --> 00:39:46.710 Pat Duckworth: Because they don't want to turn around and be publishing stuff and then go well actually yeah but we don't think it's very important.
00:39:47.400 --> 00:40:05.100 Pat Duckworth: So it's it's about your brand and your values, as well as about retaining these really knowledgeable experienced women and maybe the men that are supporting those women who are feeling tired as well next point.
00:40:07.530 --> 00:40:12.180 Kate Usher: On that point I think it's really important the point about brand because.
00:40:12.810 --> 00:40:31.230 Kate Usher: and values, because your values needs to be lived not just laminated and stuck on the wall, they absolutely have to be a lived part of the people who work within the organization, so that they they know that they are valued and that their contribution is valued as well.
00:40:32.340 --> 00:40:43.410 Pat Duckworth: And if that's not the case and internally, women are not being supported then it's a funny word how those things kind of seep out.
00:40:44.040 --> 00:40:59.220 Pat Duckworth: and your brand as take a hit, so I was having a discussion with someone on linkedin the other day, and they was they were knocking marks and Spencers for publicizing some support that they're given to one of their members of staff.
00:40:59.910 --> 00:41:10.650 Pat Duckworth: That it doesn't affect the share price, and I said, on the contrary, I think it does, because the demographic that shops in marks and Spencers.
00:41:11.250 --> 00:41:25.830 Pat Duckworth: Is of menopausal age and they want to know that their peers are being supported and as women over the age of 50 are buying 48% of all purchases in the UK.
00:41:26.220 --> 00:41:36.000 Pat Duckworth: Then absolutely Lee their power is huge yeah, we need to think about those things as well, and last on the point of reputation.
00:41:36.420 --> 00:41:42.840 Pat Duckworth: Is if we are looking at tribunals, of which there is a massive increase this year.
00:41:43.560 --> 00:41:58.950 Pat Duckworth: Around manner pause then, if an organization that goes to try being all because they aren't supporting their staff that the damage that is done in that process takes a huge amount of words come back from yeah and that's.
00:42:00.210 --> 00:42:07.950 Pat Duckworth: yeah that's that's important and for our listeners in America what we're talking about his court cases involving employment law.
00:42:08.490 --> 00:42:22.380 Pat Duckworth: And there have been four cases decided in women's favor that, in one case or two cases that menopause is a disability under the Equality Act in the UK.
00:42:22.980 --> 00:42:34.650 Pat Duckworth: So that was really important it doesn't mean that menopause is a disability, it meant that for those two women, the extent of their symptoms their medication meant that it was a disability.
00:42:35.070 --> 00:42:43.320 Pat Duckworth: And so, these companies, these four companies have had to pay out compensation and, in some cases reinstate these employees.
00:42:43.710 --> 00:42:54.480 Pat Duckworth: Because they didn't handle it very well, and when you read the cases you think I can't believe they did it, and yet this is, you know there's going to be a lot more of that going on, so.
00:42:54.870 --> 00:43:02.580 Pat Duckworth: we're really talking about the positives of your brand living your values your corporate responsibility.
00:43:02.940 --> 00:43:10.080 Pat Duckworth: But we're also talking about retaining experienced staff getting the best performance from them getting the best morale.
00:43:10.470 --> 00:43:21.720 Pat Duckworth: there's a whole lot of wins here and you're avoiding the risk of ending up with court cases around how you treated your women and, if you read the court cases.
00:43:22.530 --> 00:43:31.230 Pat Duckworth: These employers did not come out well from it, an interesting you mentioned marks and Spencers because they've just recently launched.
00:43:32.070 --> 00:43:41.730 Pat Duckworth: A whole range of menopause face products, so it would look pretty bad if they weren't supporting their staff and they were trying to get people to buy multiples products.
00:43:42.150 --> 00:43:52.260 Pat Duckworth: And you know women at this age are holding the purse strings in the household they are spending, most of the money, so you really don't want to.
00:43:52.740 --> 00:43:59.040 Pat Duckworth: upset them, that was a nice way of saying it we really don't want to upset them you want to get the one side, you want them thinking.
00:43:59.760 --> 00:44:03.990 Pat Duckworth: i'd really like to buy something for them from them because they're good people.
00:44:04.470 --> 00:44:14.430 Pat Duckworth: let's start I know we've got loads of top tips, and we are in multiples awareness month, so this is an opportunity for employers to recognize when a pause awareness month.
00:44:14.790 --> 00:44:23.910 Pat Duckworth: and have something lined up for menopause Awareness Day on the 18th of October don't miss this opportunity, whatever size employer, you are.
00:44:24.360 --> 00:44:31.890 Pat Duckworth: And I was really hot and Kate I have to tell you this, I went networking physically yesterday, like in a room with people eating breakfast.
00:44:32.430 --> 00:44:40.770 Pat Duckworth: And there was an HR consultant there and i'm I raised the issue of menopause awareness month I said, you know, this is an opportunity.
00:44:41.070 --> 00:44:46.800 Pat Duckworth: I told him about getting a free link to my book menopause mind the gap, you know, so you can pick up the first chapter.
00:44:47.670 --> 00:44:53.430 Pat Duckworth: He took action straight away by lunchtime need actually blogged about it put a link to my book.
00:44:53.820 --> 00:45:11.610 Pat Duckworth: sent it out to his clients, you know that's taking action that's like Oh, this is something we could be doing now, we could be recognizing it and taking action right, you can start with tip number one will play relay on this what's your first tip for employers.
00:45:12.810 --> 00:45:23.910 Kate Usher: First tip is always awareness, we have to talk about manner pause there that's the first rule, it could also be the last room.
00:45:24.270 --> 00:45:44.010 Kate Usher: We absolutely have to talk about menopause So even if it's just that you put something in your weekly newsletter or something goes on your Intranet or something goes on the notice board whatever it is it's about raising the awareness it's about.
00:45:45.060 --> 00:45:52.620 Pat Duckworth: Taking that first step and saying this is my nipples, this is what it is and we recognize that it's a phase and women's lives.
00:45:52.980 --> 00:46:06.900 Pat Duckworth: yeah it's signaling it's signaling to your workforce that this is a subject we talk about absolutely and, in doing that you are opening the door to women.
00:46:07.470 --> 00:46:27.060 Pat Duckworth: A talk about it be seek support see be loyal and stay in your organization it's so powerful yeah absolutely easy to do yeah yeah that is a great first tip that would have been my first tip.
00:46:28.740 --> 00:46:43.320 Pat Duckworth: And i'm really getting that coming down from senior management i've told this story before but it sure sure fire chief fire officer came to international women's day wearing a T shirt That said, asked me about multiples.
00:46:44.610 --> 00:46:50.790 Pat Duckworth: Right from the top he's saying i'm not embarrassed about this, you can't embarrass me about this.
00:46:51.210 --> 00:47:01.800 Pat Duckworth: come and talk to me about it so once you've got that awareness tip number two for me is to ask your ask your employees what support they want.
00:47:02.430 --> 00:47:13.290 Pat Duckworth: ask everybody send out a very simple survey either do that or menopause Awareness Day doesn't have some have much in it, but do you could feel comfortable talking about menopause.
00:47:14.400 --> 00:47:21.150 Pat Duckworth: Do you feel comfortable about talking to somebody in your line management about menopause would you attend a menopause awareness event.
00:47:21.690 --> 00:47:41.250 Pat Duckworth: Asking just a few simple questions you might be amazed at the volume of response you get you might be sitting there thinking, oh dear my organizations interested in this I worked with another organization and they put out a survey and within 24 hours they had 200 responses.
00:47:42.390 --> 00:47:53.970 Pat Duckworth: of people wanting training of wanting to know more of wanting more information so don't assume that, because you haven't talked about it before nobody's interested.
00:47:54.990 --> 00:48:19.770 Pat Duckworth: They are interested, a they just need you to open the door and say it's okay we've got a minute ago okay what's your third tip Oh, my goodness me so we've had awareness we've had asked, then the next thing is has to be if you have got information, make it readily accessible.
00:48:20.790 --> 00:48:28.710 Kate Usher: If you do have a policy or guidelines and you've hidden it by 18 layers down your Internet.
00:48:29.190 --> 00:48:38.670 Kate Usher: What that actually says is don't bother asking us, because we don't want to know, make it really visible so that women can access it.
00:48:39.030 --> 00:48:48.480 Kate Usher: And they can understand it clearly and so it's not a legal legally is you know it's not illegal speak it's actually a clear set of.
00:48:48.840 --> 00:48:58.920 Kate Usher: what's offered how it's offered and if they need to provide something as well, like a GP letter or something along those lines so make that information readily accessible.
00:48:59.610 --> 00:49:11.730 Pat Duckworth: Excellent so you've had three top tips, and we will be coming back after the break to share even more top tips on Breaking the Silence around minerals in the workplace we'll see you after the break.
00:49:42.510 --> 00:49:45.150 About metaphors and how it impacts on your life.
00:51:13.650 --> 00:51:24.870 Pat Duckworth: Welcome back to the final quarter the hot women rock radio show and powering women leaders at menopause where today we're talking about Breaking the Silence around menopause in the workplace.
00:51:25.290 --> 00:51:35.100 Pat Duckworth: i've talked about lots of subjects on this show we've talked about hot flushes we've talked about brain fog we've talked about domestic violence.
00:51:35.910 --> 00:51:50.070 Pat Duckworth: we've covered a whole range of subjects if you've missed any of them go to talk radio dot nyc forward slash hot women rock and you will find all the previous recordings and tomorrow the recording of this show will be there as well.
00:51:50.670 --> 00:52:00.090 Pat Duckworth: So we're up to tip number four and, for me, this one is really about if you get that feedback.
00:52:00.870 --> 00:52:12.150 Pat Duckworth: Take action on it, so if you've done that survey you've raised awareness you've done the survey you're starting those conversations up now, what do you need to do and.
00:52:12.450 --> 00:52:22.290 Pat Duckworth: It could be that you need to have some awareness raising sessions might be lunch and learn type sessions online or in person.
00:52:22.830 --> 00:52:32.010 Pat Duckworth: So, but if that's if you're being asked for that your line managers might be asking for some training on how to have that conversation.
00:52:32.640 --> 00:52:43.260 Pat Duckworth: don't let this become that piece of shelf where that you know you've just done it okay it's a one and done, we did that thing on my nipples Awareness Day that's it it's over.
00:52:43.830 --> 00:52:51.240 Pat Duckworth: it's about right so now, what was the feedback that we got and what's our next step, and if it is around awareness and training.
00:52:51.570 --> 00:53:06.300 Pat Duckworth: Really don't assume that, though women employees that you have all the men employees understand what menopause is i've had women enroll for courses they've come in and they've said, this is their first opportunity to talk about it to anyone.
00:53:07.320 --> 00:53:16.380 Pat Duckworth: And they want to know the very basic things, and you can be surprised how the conversation opens up and how many questions you get.
00:53:16.710 --> 00:53:29.880 Pat Duckworth: So it's a good idea to have somebody come in, who is an expert in this area don't spend your time becoming an expert, there are people like Kate knight who are experts in their area we've put.
00:53:30.300 --> 00:53:39.060 Pat Duckworth: Month hours weeks of time into this and we can just help your employees understand what's happening and you'll be surprised.
00:53:39.420 --> 00:53:48.810 Pat Duckworth: How much better they feel just from some knowledge, so that would be my next thing is look at the responses you got to your survey and now, what can you do.
00:53:49.380 --> 00:53:53.010 Pat Duckworth: Right i'm taking a breath, Kate what's what's tip number five.
00:53:53.940 --> 00:54:05.850 Pat Duckworth: Can I can I just make a comment on your tip, and that is that this needs to be you need we organizations need to recognize that this isn't just a female only series of questions.
00:54:06.270 --> 00:54:14.310 Pat Duckworth: in the sense that I was working with one of the utilities in the UK and they did sessions for men.
00:54:14.670 --> 00:54:28.620 Pat Duckworth: And that was just allow the men to have a space where they could ask the questions without feeling silly or uncomfortable or fearing that you know someone might laugh at them, they would offend someone.
00:54:29.220 --> 00:54:41.610 Pat Duckworth: And it, they need to sit there with somebody who isn't going to feel concerned about that and then expert is going to be able to answer those questions without any concerns whatsoever.
00:54:41.970 --> 00:54:50.760 Pat Duckworth: And I think that's really important, so my next tip my next tip is to create a pathway to support.
00:54:51.300 --> 00:54:58.740 Pat Duckworth: And that is a clear and open understanding of who the people are you need to speak to now.
00:54:59.250 --> 00:55:11.610 Pat Duckworth: I was speaking to an IT firm and they said to me is this like mental health responders or first aiders and I said yes absolutely their advocates so.
00:55:12.120 --> 00:55:23.520 Pat Duckworth: You can go to them and say i'm really struggling and i'm having a hard time and you know that this is someone who is a has a full understanding of what the organization offers.
00:55:23.790 --> 00:55:37.140 Pat Duckworth: And how to access it so that it takes some of the pressure off women so they can then move forward gain the support that they need day in their career and ensure that they're nurtured right the way through.
00:55:37.770 --> 00:55:46.110 Pat Duckworth: And yeah from the top down as well that supports managers, so that they don't cut they're not constantly the first line of support.
00:55:46.380 --> 00:56:00.960 Pat Duckworth: They feel supported and it's only if it needs to come up to that next level that they're actually on the other side of the desk so it works both ways and it's a really effective way of creating a sort of pathway to support.
00:56:02.160 --> 00:56:11.100 Pat Duckworth: I love it I love it a pathway to support, we all need that so my next tip is this number six i'm losing count now.
00:56:12.300 --> 00:56:16.440 Pat Duckworth: I think we're up to tip number six and so.
00:56:16.920 --> 00:56:30.030 Pat Duckworth: Thinking about what changes, you could make in your workplace so going to support women now in the UK, we talked about this in a legal term which called reasonable adjustments what reasonably could you adjust.
00:56:30.360 --> 00:56:40.110 Pat Duckworth: That is going to help the women in your workplace now before your heart starts beating and you think this is going to cost you a lot of money, it can be really simple stuff.
00:56:40.590 --> 00:56:47.850 Pat Duckworth: It might be a change, I mean I always assume that people at work can go and use the bathroom whenever they want to.
00:56:49.470 --> 00:56:58.170 Pat Duckworth: But it's not the case and for some women at medicals their periods, I said look I dare to say the word periods.
00:56:58.980 --> 00:57:09.930 Pat Duckworth: Their periods might be getting heavier more frequent and they might need to go to the bathroom a lot more than they were before they might just need to go another way, more often than they were before.
00:57:10.350 --> 00:57:26.820 Pat Duckworth: And if your policy that you've got at the moment, only allows them to go at certain times it's gonna be an issue so it's like reviewing something like that and thinking well, how could I make this easier if your employees have to wear uniforms with a designed for women.
00:57:27.840 --> 00:57:38.280 Pat Duckworth: Is there any flexibility in them have a maid of manmade fibers Is there something which is going to cause we're into sweat a lot more, because of the hot flushes There you are, I said women sweat as well.
00:57:38.610 --> 00:57:46.020 Pat Duckworth: I am revealing all kinds of stuff yeah yeah I know it's a shocker it's really about thinking very practically.
00:57:46.590 --> 00:57:58.500 Pat Duckworth: Do have you got sources of cold water cold drinking water readily available can women just go and get a drink of water now one of my own favorites that most people don't even think about.
00:57:58.830 --> 00:58:11.370 Pat Duckworth: you've got big open plan office and perhaps you're doing hot basking, which is the situation, I was in in my last corporate job you had to get there first thing in the morning to get your desk you know plant a flag in it.
00:58:12.060 --> 00:58:23.190 Pat Duckworth: But you couldn't have your own storage space at that desk because you didn't know you're going to be there, the next day, and you were given these open boxes are they called trucks, you know, like you're getting the garden.
00:58:23.820 --> 00:58:32.130 Pat Duckworth: That you, and then you had a space in a drawer to put them in now if you're a woman who's got a lot of sanitary were in there.
00:58:32.520 --> 00:58:38.850 Pat Duckworth: And you've got your HR to drugs and you've got a load of other stuff that's connected with your menopause.
00:58:39.360 --> 00:58:47.160 Pat Duckworth: Honestly, want to be carrying it through the office and putting it in a drawer with everybody else's stuff you need private storage.
00:58:47.820 --> 00:58:56.520 Pat Duckworth: Let me put out a call for that you know if you're doing hot deskin think about the people who have very personal items that they need to store.
00:58:57.120 --> 00:59:04.140 Pat Duckworth: Oh, my goodness it's only time I don't think we got time for another tip because I just wanted to say, Kate.
00:59:04.650 --> 00:59:15.090 Pat Duckworth: How can people find out more about you, I think you've got a giveaway for them from them and I don't want to stop you from saying that So how can they find out more about you definitely grab your giveaway.
00:59:16.140 --> 00:59:33.990 Kate Usher: Okay, so you can find me on my website www dot second phase that's all alpha numeric.co.uk you can find me on linkedin you can find me on Twitter under second phase, women.
00:59:34.950 --> 00:59:48.150 Kate Usher: And my giveaway is there's a freebie on my website that gives you the four top tips to having successful menopause conversations at work and, of course, you can always get a copy of my book.
00:59:48.480 --> 01:00:02.100 Kate Usher: And that's available on Amazon in the US and in across Europe, so help help yourself doughboy soft copy it's great and there's bits in there, that you can directly to your boss.
01:00:02.160 --> 01:00:05.250 Pat Duckworth: i've got two minutes stopped talking I knew we have this problem.
01:00:06.750 --> 01:00:17.250 Pat Duckworth: Thank you so much, Kate thanks for sharing everything that you shared and if you're listening and you're you're an employer anything if I could go and sell this idea to Sunday go to.
01:00:17.730 --> 01:00:28.350 Pat Duckworth: quest.com forward slash mind the gap, and you will be able to download a free copy of the first chapter of the book, which has all of the business case in it.
01:00:28.620 --> 01:00:43.170 Pat Duckworth: So please go and download that so you understand why this is workplace issue Thank you so much K I knew the type of go quickly, but we have shared a lot of wisdom so it's absolutely brilliant so coming up.
01:00:43.980 --> 01:00:56.850 Pat Duckworth: Stay tuned to talk radio dot nyc because the Reverend Dr tlc will be coming on with dismantle racism and talking about the power of legacy and culture, and I just want to congratulate.
01:00:57.210 --> 01:01:05.160 Pat Duckworth: Tara Lynn because she had a big ceremony, this week, many congratulations and well done, with everything that you're doing.
01:01:05.790 --> 01:01:17.160 Pat Duckworth: Thank you to my producer kyle today, and thank you to everybody for listening next week we're talking to Dr Rachel kd who's a member of the North American medical society.
01:01:17.520 --> 01:01:29.250 Pat Duckworth: we're talking about what women need to know about hrt it's confusing join us to hear all about that Thank you everybody i'll see you same time next week, thank you.