Is the subject of menopause accepted and acknowledged in the work place? Is it the excuse, the joke or the put down? Is it still taboo?
I remember very clearly sexist remarks when I was just starting my career in Corporate America in the 1980s. I actually had a male boss who expressed his concern on my ability to succeed in sales because of the “golf“ situation. His reasoning was that men do not want to play golf with women and business was done on the golf course. At that time, he was correct. I had to work harder in building relationships than my male counterparts.
Some business is still done on the links and the courts, and some relationship building is done over food and drink. Because the IRS and Corporations monitor a very careful eye on these outings, most business is done in offices or remotely. What this means is that relationships in business are harder to achieve. A common interest is key. Religion and politics are still a slippery slope best not crossed. Family, children, vacations, hobbies, schools, these are all bonding topics. What about health issues and specifically menopause?
Recently the topic of elderly parents and their care among other baby boomers has eclipsed the children topic in my experience. To those who had children late in life or a blended family along with the aging parent, empathy for the sandwiched person is appreciated completely. This person’s connection is, make my life less stressful, can your company or product do that for me?
I recently was invited to speak at an office. The young woman who led me to the conference room made a comment about how cold it was in the office because the higher ups like it that way. She surmised that it was to encourage better performance. She also told me it was a good day because a particular person was in good mood. Her insinuation was this person, who was the individual who invited me, was subject to mood swings.
I obviously knew why it was cold in the office. I also knew this person did not really suffer mood swings, but this young women did not have a clue. I immediately erased any menopause jokes from my talk. I wanted to tell this woman menopause is the reason it is chilly and it will happen to you too but I didn’t cross the business taboo line. In this office menopause was taboo.
Have you experienced menopause still being on the ‘no talk’ list?
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