Anna Judson, SPVS President, starts the conversation on this impactful and common issue affecting women
Menopause is not a topic I’ve seen mentioned in the veterinary press. Just saying the word seems enough to cause awkwardness and a swift change of topic, or evokes emphatic comments such as ‘Oh no, I get enough of that at home’, as I was told only last week. That statement is precisely why we do need to talk about and understand the menopause. It clearly has an impact not just on the women experiencing its multitude of symptoms but all the people living and working alongside them.
An individual and a workforce issue
I spoke with Deborah Garlick recently from the organisation Menopause in the Workplace and editor of Menopause: the change for the better. She advised that 75-80% of women experience menopausal symptoms, 25% severely, and 1 in 4 menopausal women considered leaving work as they couldn’t cope with their symptoms. There are direct benefits to an individual and their workplace team of supporting women affected by the menopause. In addition, in a feminised profession with a recruitment shortage the economic necessity of educating the whole profession is underlined by those figures.
Deborah’s passion for providing education and advice for employers and their teams to support menopausal colleagues was clear. She has helped create training courses, videos, e-learning tools and checklists, and is delighted with the very positive feedback from employers who have chosen to engage on this subject. Further information can be found at: https://menopauseintheworkplace.co.uk/
A lighter look at some of the issues surrounding menopause and other situations and stressors women commonly experience around that time in life are covered in the podcast ‘Postcards from Midlife’.
Menopause and the vet profession – a conversation to be had
SPVS has been actively supporting the veterinary profession’s moves to create a culture of inclusivity, diversity and equality. Raising awareness about menopause in the veterinary workplace is an extension of that support. SPVS aims to bring you further articles and training about the menopause tying these in with Women’s Health Week 12-18th May 2020 and World Menopause Day 18th October 2020. Watch this space!
If you have been affected by menopause or have other topics you’d like to discuss, please do get in touch