Over the weekend, I caught up on some news outside my industry through a handful of glossy, high-end magazines.
It’s not my usual kind of reading material.
A friend had given me a copy of the magazine Wanderlust, 30 years of taking the Road Less Traveled.
While browsing the pages, I was flooded with memories of my travels to 56 countries. My goal is to visit as many countries as my age. I was reminded of my extensive travelling in 2019/2020 when I joined the Remote Year program, which was supposed to take me around the world, but ended up in London, UK.
The plan wasn’t to end up in London, UK, but after spending nine months in South America and living in Medellin, Colombia, for six of those months during the Covid lockdown, I knew my ability to travel had come to an end for that year. London was supposed to be a six-month stopover before travelling on or returning to Canada, but I fell in love with living here. Three months later, I re-secured my citizenship (I was born in Belfast) and began making connections on which to build my business here in the UK.
At this point, I think you might be wondering what this has to do with menopause.
In the health section of the magazine, the article talked about travelling with menopause and included numbers from the world health organisation and the NHS here in the UK.
As of 2021, about a quarter of the world’s female population over 50 years old amounts to 26%. According to Geoffrey Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm, this significant demographic surpasses the 10% benchmark of being mainstream. The high prevalence of perimenopausal and menopausal women explains why there is much discussion about menopause. Surprisingly, 26% of the world’s population has not compelled businesses to reconsider their approach to this topic or its importance. This suggests that companies fail to address the needs of this significant portion of the population.
In the UK, this number jumps up to 1/3 of women, according to National Health Service (NHS) estimates
While there can be several reasons why the 40 known symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause begin at any age, the average age is 51. This age is significant as that is when an employee is most likely in a senior role with an organisation. They are at an age where they can devote more focus to their career if their body isn’t betraying them. This is likely a contributing factor to why a recent statistic from the McKinsey report “Women in the Workplace” indicated that for every woman achieving a director-level leadership role, two are leaving. Many high-profile women have resigned recently, citing reasons including focusing on themselves, family, and other areas outside of work.
for every woman stepping into a director-level leadership role, two are choosing to leave, says Alexis Krivkovich, McKinsey senior partner and an author of the joint Lean In and McKinsey “Women in the Workplace” report.
Given the significant changes women experience in their lives and careers, it's not surprising that many leaders leave without support from their families and employers. Despite the fact that women make up a large portion of the population and many governments have initiatives to encourage all capable individuals to return to work, when will governments and businesses prioritize providing necessary support for these women?