Leading through a new type of “change” | Menopause
The Business Woman’s Menopause
Leading through a new type of change – the menopause! Did you know that we are the first generation of women managing menopause in the boardroom and business!
The thought never crossed my mind as I entered the corporate boardroom and created my family hospitality business just after my 40th birthday.
Who knew that my Change and Career Curve were about to “clash” – I certainly didn’t. Perhaps as a Business Woman yours has already clashed! Or maybe yours may have not reached the point of meeting yet!
This should be an exciting era of change for us as Business Women – but it can easily become a challenge! So where ever you are with your change and career curve I am sure you will be able to take something from my story.
Since writing this article I was invited by the BBC to share my story as part of Menopause Awareness Month, and sharing the work of Carolyn Harris and The All Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause who provide a platform to tackle the lack of understanding around menopause. Read the BBC coverage.
My Change Curve
I had my menopause aged 40 at a key point in my city career. I worked hard for my career, completing my MBA the year of my menopause! Unexpectedly I was misdiagnosed with anxiety and stress. This was due to my workload during the last financial crisis. When combined with the challenges of family life I could no longer function and just broke down.
Not happy with the diagnosis I pushed hard explaining it’s more than stress. I had always been known as Ms Resilient! So why this time when I got knocked down, did I not get back up again!
Being so confused, lonely and exhausted by the experience I took four months out of my career. I was desperate to understand what had happened to me so I could get stronger and back to my well-deserved career.
The Clash of my Change and Career Curve
I was never going to make a choice after investing so much in both my career and body. Why should I just because of the menopause! Yes the menopause impacted my work and career but only for a short MenoPAUSE until I took ownership of it! I had to work out how to lead through a new type of change – the menopause.
Working with my GP we finally established that I had gone through an early menopause. I discovered this could have been accelerated due to the level of stress (some of it chosen and some just life) I was under at the time. I was told that I may have to choose between my career and body If I wanted to “get through it”.
My change curve and career curve had clashed with a menopause meltdown in the boardroom. This career event was certainly not one included in my 5 year career path!
Taking Ownership as the First Generation
I knew I was not going to choose between my career and menopause. I was not going to step away from the boardroom or my business after working so hard to get there! So I took ownership of my situation and embarked on my quest to:
- Understand why my body and mind was changing
- Establish how could I manage these changes
- Find medical information about PeriMenopause, Menopause and PostMenopause
As I progressed with my research, I realised that I had actually experienced a significant number of changes. I established that around 40 changes had or were happening to my whole body and not just my ovaries much to my surprise. So I warmly called them “My 40 Changes to Accept Over 40“! Not the 40th Birthday present I expected, but one that I decided to own, writing an article for each one to help Business Women like me build a strong body to manage their menopause.
So with these 40 changes happening , no wonder my change and career curves clashed! I was completely unprepared for the impact on my body, my mind and the toll it took on my relationships, career and business.
Through my research I quickly realised I was not alone. Talking to women in my workplace and business networking groups they shared how they were impacted by their hormonal changes. They too were feeling the full force of their change and career curves clashing!
These women had stories similar to mine and also needed to take time out of their careers and business. I kept thinking about how many women in the workplace were actually trying to manage both their career and change curves like me.
So after studying numerous papers and surveys I identified that:
- 100% of Women go through menopause – it’s not optional…
- 90% of Women are impacted by their hormonal changes to varying degrees…
- 51% of Business Women take time out of their business or career due to the impact of their changes…
- 32% of Business Women unnecessarily sell their business or leave their career as the ongoing impact of their changes become too much for them to manage alongside leading their family and business or career…
With this realisation I extended my research to find solutions that would help me and other business women. We needed a simple achievable way to manage our both our change and career curve! But more importantly I did not want another business woman to go through what I did!
Although I looked, I could not find a suitable solution for Business Women like me. So I created my own using all my research and personal experiments.
My Solution – The Menopause Resilience System™
I created The Menopause Resilience System™ to help Business Women manage their menopause by teaching them to build a strong body so they can continue to lead themselves, their family and business or career through their hormonal changes. For me it’s Strong Body|Strong Business!
One “balanced-system” that focuses on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It contains twelve principles presented in four frameworks that teach us how to manage our changing body, mind, and relationships by taking ownership.
- Meno-Body | Feel Stronger with Food, Move & Snooze
- Meno-Mind | Think Clearly with Calm, Clarity & Confidence
- Meno-Relations | Manage Relationships with Me, We & Thee
- Meno-Leadership | Take Ownership with Vision, Mission & Strategy
By taking ownership and following The Menopause Resilience System™ I was able to manage my menopause. I felt stronger, could think clearly and was managing my relationships better. I realised could now lead through a new type of “change” – my menopause.
So with my own solution to looking after myself I was ready to head back into the boardroom and business world with a strong body! The fun bit, I switched “career curves” leaving Finance Operations and heading into Human Resources. I chose Human Resources so I could really make a difference educating both with women and leadership teams in all things Menopause!
My New Career Curve
Despite the clash of my change and career curve in the boardroom I had a very rewarding career especially the time I spent in HR. But I was restless! I had a whole lot more to give to support the first generation of women managing menopause in the boardroom and business! I could help them lead through a new type of change – the menopause!
So approaching my 50th birthday “my present” was to coach Business and Corporate Women full time so I left my corporate career. A tough decision, but one change I wanted to make!
I set up as an Executive MidLife Coach creating The Menopause Resilience Club™ to coach Business Women using The Menopause Resilience System™ “complimented” with private and group coaching.
The purpose of The Menopause Resilience Club™ is to provide a “safe professional place” where business and corporate women come together to build a Strong Body to manage their hormonal changes and be part of a professional community to help them build a Strong Business or Career.
Our Club Values are:
- Communication – receive clear information on the peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause
- Connect – with other corporate and business women along with club experts
- Coaching – The Menopause Resilience System™ programme, group and private coaching
- Caring – be part of a professional community who really care and support each other through such a key life stage
It’s all about “Keeping Women in Business Through Their Hormonal Changes“…
Yes I found the consequences of not knowing what was happening to me isolating, lonely and stressful. I had not even heard of peri-menopause, and menopause was for “old” people and not me at 40!
In sharing my story I hope it helps other Business Women. I want it to raise the awareness of menopause and the impact it has on women, their families and career or business.
Yes I am helping the first generation of Business Women to manage their menopause in the boardroom. But I also want to educate the second generation of women like my daughter on track to enter the boardroom very soon. I want them to understand and learn how to manage their change and career curves as they cross. I want them prepared for menopause in the boardroom and business.
With the right knowledge and resources all generations of business women will be able to Lead through a new type of “change” – The Menopause…
This article is an extract from a chapter I have written as part of an amazing collaboration of women who have come together to share their stores. The book is called “Women Leading in Our New World” and will be published in early 2022. I will share details of the book launch later this year.
Watch my video to learn what happened after I shared my story – it was a privilege to be part of this momentous campaign.
KEEPING WOMEN IN BUSINESS
If you want to have discussion about your PeriMenopause or Menopause then book your Discovery Consultation using this link. The session includes The Menopause Resilience Assessment™, then based on the results and our discussion you receive your Menopause Resilience Prescription™ to help you build a strong body to manage your menopause and beyond.
Reference The Menopause Resilience System™ with Women’s Fearless Coaching Ltd All Rights Reserved © Disclaimer: Women’s Fearless Coaching does not provide medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on the website.