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I ask Sharon Macarthur, aka Miss Menopause, a few questions about her work and what drove her to take on the challenging task of getting organisations to acknowledge and talk about Menopause 

Hello Sharon, could you tell us a bit about what you do?

I set up Miss menopause nearly 4 years ago now in response to the lack of information there seemed to be about menopause, especially in the workplace. At the time menopause wasn’t really being talked about and I had several people ask me why anyone would want talk about that subject. My catalyst was my own menopause as I had no idea what was happening to my mind and body at the time and I believed at one point I would no longer be able to run my business. So in a nutshell miss menopause exists to educate everybody in the workplace. We all need to get away from this idea that menopause only happens to women of a certain age. My mission and message is for all as I believe ignorance can no longer be an excuse.

What inspired you to do this?

My motivation was born out of my own frustration initially and then a couple of catalysts set me off on this journey.

The first was attending a mental health first aid course where menopause wasn’t even mentioned. Considering 100% of reproducing females will go through this life event I was astonished that mental health and menopause was not being connected.

I also became aware that the knowledge which exists in our GP community seemed to be severely lacking at this time. I decided I could no longer stand by and watch women leave their positions because they didn’t understand what was happening to their minds and their bodies.

You have worked with many companies and many women - what are your biggest challenges?

Initially the biggest challenge was getting anyone to listen. Menopause to me has been hiding in plain sight for for too long and although many organisations have invested initiatives around mental health well-being as well as DE& I (diversity, equity and inclusion), menopause is still being missed. The other interesting point I want to make is often when I’m working with organisations men are conspicuous by their absence. We need to find a way of getting everyone to understand that learning about menopause can only be a good thing for everybody.

How can we, as individuals, help raise awareness about menopause - not only in the workplace, but within the community?

Raising awareness for me is really simple - to talk about it, talk about it and talk about it some more. I’m still shocked, surprised and angry that women turn up to my sessions and cry because they are so relieved that they’ve found a place where they can share their story and talk about menopause. Practically daily women tell me that they felt so isolated and alone and often think they have early onset Alzheimer’s. This means women are leaving their place of work in their droves. I believe if we share what we learn with one other human and they do the same then very quickly we will make menopause business as usual for everybody. Sadly right now we’re not there yet but the good news is it’s getting better every day.

Thank you so much to Sharon for sharing this. Please feel free to join her Facebook page or contact her via her website​ 

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