Men, don’t pause when it comes to Menopause
Apex HR believe that we need to get more men talking about menopause.
For many men, they may feel uneasy or uncomfortable talking about the menopause and how it can affect women at work. It’s often a sensitive subject and many men may feel embarrassed to talk about this. They may feel cautious or apprehensive because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or come across as insensitive.
The only way we’ll raise awareness and understanding is by talking openly about menopause. It means raising awareness which can only happen through open dialogue without fear or people feeling uncomfortable. When people feel uncomfortable or fearful about certain subjects, we close down valuable discussions and that means things do not change.
We need to make it okay to have open, supportive conversations about the menopause. Men need to be actively involved in contributing to the conversations and raising their own awareness about the menopause. We cannot cultivate inclusive cultures if a large proportion of most workforces e.g. men, are not actively involved in the discussion.
Research consistently shows that open, compassionate workplaces allow people to perform at their best. Everyone helps to create their working culture, and we know the approach from the immediate line manager makes a huge difference in shaping people’s daily experience. Given that a large proportion of men will be in line manager roles, it makes complete sense to get men positively and actively involved in such conversations.
Cultivating an inclusive workplace means we always place the person centre-stage in all our decisions. Research shows that many women going through the menopause often quit their roles because they feel unsupported. The menopause affects women in lots of different ways. There is no one single way of supporting women going through the menopause. As with so many situations at work, small changes and adjustments can make a huge difference. We shouldn’t make assumptions but rather approach every conversation with an open-mind, with empathy and curiosity. Simply being met with a warm, open and compassionate response can make all the difference. It makes compelling business sense to foster such a culture. It is not acceptable for women to feel they have no choice but to quit in these circumstances.
This is just one strand of a truly inclusive approach in workplaces. There still seems to be a bit of a blind spot with many men talking about the menopause. Nearly all the positive promotional content we see on social media and on other platforms about this important issue has been advanced and shared by women.
At Apex HR, we think it’s time we started to change that for the better and broaden the whole discussion.