Men actually love talking about the menopause. Women don’t. Sadly this is not surprising, considering most Companies are still not talking about it or setting up a process to support perimenopausal/menopause women. Of course women don’t want to talk about it, their Company’s silence is confirming to them, it’s just to taboo for their culture.
Except men do want to talk about it.
Don’t get me wrong, they are not the type to knock on HR’s door and say – “Let’s talk about the menopause Shirley*” – No. But they are very open for Shirley to come and talk to them about how they can support perimenopausal/menopausal women in the workplace. Personally, I think men have a curious nature when it comes to women, which stems from they never really know what to make of women, or how women tick over, no matter how many years they have been married.
We (women) are not straight forward humans, I’ll be the first to admit that. We do amazing things, we can give birth, juggle a family and have a long career and now more commonly, even a high powered career. We are a mixture of what we want and what we don’t want and this is usually highlighted in one spoken sentence by us. I, personally, love women for this reason alone. So I feel, any information that might allow a man a flicker of hope in figuring out that conundrum, for them, is worth listening to. Or maybe men just care a lot more than women do because there is no fallout for them.
Who knows? What I do know is – The last couple of months have been an eye opener for me on how male and females approach the topic of menopause. Women get offended if you think they have reached this age. Bizarre. Women whisper when they talk about it. Bizarre. However I have been approached head-on by men. By phone, email, face to face, it doesn’t matter, they want to talk about it. They are really intrigued about women and menopause. These men are usually over 40, with business gravitas and are just men who want to ask questions.
Chatting about the menopause to men, is easy. They want to know everything without any major detail. Mention dry vagina and there is a startled look where you can see his cogs turning over, going back in time to when he was 13 and he sat next to Lisa in class, Lisa the girl who wore a bra at 13. He didn’t really want to know why Lisa was the only girl, in his class, who wore a bra, but the fact he was sat next to Lisa in class was the same as this grown up moment — the uncomfortable unknown but the eager curiosity of revelation…
It’s the same scenario. But this time he wants to support and understand the Lisa’s in his grown up world.
I always follow with-
“Have you heard of Omega 7? No?” (funny how many people haven’t). Shop bought lubrication is like sticking a plaster over a deep cut. You need to sort the issue. Pure, natural Omega 7 lubricates the artery walls, therefore can be of great ease and even stop symptoms of dry vagina – women don’t know this, because who’s talking about dry vagina and the other 33 menopause symptoms other than me? What do you have on your intranet that supports women and the solutions for the majority of their symptoms. Give them easy access to find out how they can help themselves. Showing it’s not taboo in your company goes a long way to support your employer brand/culture.
Men are more engaged then you give them credit for. Women employees still think it’s career suicide to approach it in the workplace. Believe me when I say, male managers want to support women.
So to Summarize
34 perimenopause/menopause symptoms, some can last 10 years’, some come all at once, however 15% of women suffer none. Which means 85% of women over 45, in your company, may be suffering in silence. Your male managers want to talk about it… so why isn’t your company?