We spend most of our lives in the workforce pretending we never get our periods, despite half the workforce experiencing it. Most of us never move past the stigma of our monthly visitor. And when we’re bedridden from the pain, often many of us will give another reason for taking a sick day. We don’t want to be seen as dramatic, despite period pain being debilitating for a lot of women.
Women’s health issues are often overlooked or their seriousness underestimated in the workplace. We don’t want to be seen as weak, and so we pretend and overcompensate. It needs to stop.
It’s no wonder that when menopause reaches us we add it to the list of ‘women’s problems’ that we don’t discuss with our colleagues or employers.
There is a fear that as soon as the dreaded ‘change’ starts that you’ll be put out to pasture. And this incorrect assumption continues to exist because we don’t talk about it. It’s time for that to change.
Menopause can have serious side effects. And for you to be an effective employee you should be free to discuss them with your employer. Having a hot flash can stop you in your tracks, you can have brain fogginess from time to time, or urinary issues can occur.
You don’t need to get into gory details of every little thing, but it’s certainly important to start the discussion, and make it known that you are experiencing something that should be acknowledged in the workplace.
When a woman is pregnant her work duties are either altered, or at least her current state is acknowledged by her workplace. It should be no different for those experiencing menopause.
It’s time to shed the shame.