The Circle of Life!
Remember Kim Cattrall? She played Samantha in the movie Sex in the City 2. Cattrall played Samantha a 52 year old women, manoeuvring menopause. She was demonstrating inspiring leadership – mid life health challenges! Samantha shared the challenges she was experiencing. Above all, sharing conversations about a relatively taboo subject!
A light hearted attempt at highlighting the challenges faced by women as they navigate the disruptive symptoms of menopause. Cattrall describes herself as one of the new generation of “Menos”. In other words, she struggled with the attitude that people had around menopause.
Cattrall agrees that menopause is part of the “circle of life”. A natural ageing process for women. However attitudes have changed. So much more information and management is now available. Describing herself as part of the new generation of “changers”. Time to educate women and the younger generations how to eat and exercise earlier so that when menopause hits, the symptoms are less debilitating. Above all, education and knowledge are key!
Did you know:
– Menopause silently affects 27 million women at work every day
– Women officially reach menopause between the ages of 45 – 50 years
– Symptoms of menopause can last between 2 – 10 years
– In 2018 approximately 31million women in the menopausal age range were employed
– 80% of these employable women will suffer menopausal symptoms
– 20% of the workforce are potentially at work with not enough sleep, sweating, exhausted or suffering headaches
– Menopause remains a taboo subject in many workplaces
A New Era!
Times have changed and women are now expected to live until about 84 years. Similarly a woman born at the end of the 1800’s would live until they were about 51 years. The average age of menopause has remained stable around commencing at 50 years of age. Therefore women are now living longer through menopause.
However, the Australian Institute Health and Welfare project that the labour workforce of women aged between 65 – 69 years will increase from 20 – 35% by 2060.
Research from the UK indicates that about 3.5 million women are aged 50 and over. These women are working through a stage of life that is rarely discussed. This is called the menopause. In addition, some symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, poor concentration and mood swings to name a few.
This stage of life can be compounded with women still having children at home. Caring for elderly parents whilst holding down a career.
Climbing the Career Ladder in Your 50’s
So what does this mean for women now in their 50’s who are climbing the career ladder? Women trying to navigate their career. Being on “top of there game”! Whilst being challenged with multiple health issues.
These women expect to be in the workforce for longer! As a result they need to help mould the new “norms”. To make the environment more adaptable and flexible. To get onto of these health issues that can potentially hold them back. It can feel a bit like trying to walk through mud. The effort to go a short distance can be exhausting and a huge energy drain.
As mentioned earlier education and knowledge is certainly the key to remain health and functional. A variety of treatments and support is available so it pays to do the research, shop around and make informed choices. In conclusion find a way that works for you.
“The way you think, the way you behave,
the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 – 50 years”.Deepak Chopra
Here are 4 things that can support your mid life health challenges in the workplace.
We know that women will live well into their 80’s and many will continue in their careers well past the age of 65years. Therefore, realising that good health is critical. Employers and leaders also need to understand and create a more knowledgable and flexible workplace to recognise and support the different cycles of life.
1. Create awareness – Encourage conversations around menopause
2. Greater flexibility around working hours
3. Eat a healthy balanced diet
4. Seek out a trusted health professional who can support and mentor you on your health journey
Would love to hear your thought