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The menopause. Still taboo?

Posted by BECTU Communications on 5 November 2018

#talkBECTU week is becoming a tradition in our union, enhancing our year round organising work with one week where we blast the BECTU world with info, events and conversations about the union.

As we kick off union week 2018, one our BBC events will focus on the menopause. What this means for women in the workplace, and what more we can do to support each other through it.

It's one of those last great unspoken truths, the menopause. But the more we ignore the issue, the less sympathetic we are and the more stressful it is for the individual. But it doesn't have to be like that. We're starting the conversation today with an open meeting at the BBC. We've got an expert in to help talk to members, answer questions, and polish up what we officials think we know.

With a touch of good humour, empathy, and frankness, we are going to ensure we all understand what this period of life can mean, and how we can persuade colleagues and employers to do more to help. There's no policy on the menopause at the BBC, so we want to talk to members about if there should be, and if so, what it should say.

There are some really simple tips for helping women through this bit of life, from small flexible adjustments responding to whatever the problematic or challenging symptoms are to allowing for changes in start times, objective setting etc.  Too many women are written off there and then, and this is completely unnecessary. We simply require a bit of understanding, and the knowledge that this is temporary and normal service will resume!

I regularly meet amazing women around the BBC who have come out the other side of all this, they are determined, experienced, feeling fabulous and raring to go.

The late Tessa Jowell talked about this, when she talked about the age of the older woman. Women whose children have grown, they're experts in the workplace, and they're out the other side of menopause. It's about time we saw that opportunity for what it is, and allow those women that chance to shine. Surely that approach would benefit us all.

So we see that in BECTU. We know the menopause can be a nightmare, so we want to support our members through that, and to generate a conversation about what's needed to make it less of a taboo, better understood, and more manageable. That small understanding has the potential to really provide some huge rewards for all.

So join BECTU, work with us, support this conversation. There is a better world out there, and we are determined to make it so.

The menopause. Still taboo?

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