The memory is still vivid. Head in hands, tears streaming down my face, skin itchy, head throbbing, the sweat of my body causing my new outfit to stick to me. I felt humiliated, depressed and as if I was failing in a job I loved.
That’s what the menopause can do. It can play havoc with you and how you perform at work, mix with colleagues, and relate to friends and family. For too long, the menopause has turned people like me into victims, when all that’s happening is totally natural. That’s why, according to reports, almost a million people have quit their jobs. They feel let down by employers.
I work in an industry that prides itself on understanding patients. That’s why Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has transformed its approach to menopause in the workplace. By understanding its impact more completely, our working relationships can be more empowering. The company has created a culture where people feel able to openly share their experiences. Our leadership is driving a company-wide training scheme so we can better support those going through the menopause. And we now have 18 menopause advocates who will ensure that menopausal issues are part of our internal communications.