As I am reading CIPD's "Menopause at the Workplace" report I wonder, is this really a workplace topic?
Don't get me wrong, I am up for all sorts of conversations because that's educational but how did we get to the point where we now need to discuss menopause at work? How did we get to the point that we need to educate the workforce about basic things like period and menopause and their possible impact on women and on others?
Why do we have to educate the workforce on the basics of humanity that they should be taught by their parents, families, partners, friends, or spouses like; don't be a bully, don't sexually harass people, the possible impact of pregnancy on performance, and that women will likely to lose their shit before their period.
Looking at the men in my life, my father, brother or partner, they know these basics very well because of conversations they heard from us or when we talked about these issues with them. I refuse to believe that people have no idea about these things and that we need to spend corporations' time and money to address them.
The possible lack of education at home is highlighted by the patriarchal narrative about women being oppressed. I always said that if women feel oppressed by men it is not to be addressed in the workplace but back at home with the men in their lives. This is where it all comes from. I am admired by my father and as a result, I have never felt the presence of patriarchy towards me. When men go off track interacting with me I put them back in their place very quickly just as my father has taught me. No man is worth more than I am and I am not worth more than any man. This is what I and my brother were taught.
Organisations must start asking the question, Are we taking on the role of families and friends when it comes to educating the workforce about basic human things?
HOWEVER, relying purely on your family members' experiences when it comes to female-related matters can get you as an employer to lose a sex discrimination tribunal so be very careful! (read the article) I guess the reason behind corporate education is to avoid these tribunals.
I do not want to talk about my period or soon-to-come menopause at work in formal settings. I am happy to say that I am going through it and if people are as interested and considerate about others as we think they are they will find a way to know what it means. And if they aren't considerate enough corporate training will not solve the problem and only provide coverage for tribunals.