Breaking the Stigma

Breaking the Stigma

Thursday 18th October is World Menopause Day. The Menopause affects millions of working women across the UK every day, but is a condition which can be misunderstood, misdiagnosed and swept under the carpet.

I have followed the work of Louise Newson,  Lauren Chiren and other experts on the subject over the last couple of years. My belief is that everyone must become more comfortable speaking about this subject, not just women.

Why am I writing about this?

Over 18 months ago I started to suffer from a chain of seemingly unrelated illnesses. Headaches, sore stomach, respitory infection and sore joints. Each could be written-off as a short-term ‘bug’. Who doesn’t get a hot flush in the summer?

What did start to scare me was brief lapses in my memory. I could briefly feel confused, disengaged and lose my place when working on some data. Really not like me at all.

My greatest battle came with a severe loss of confidence. As much as physical discomfort, starting to lose faith in myself and my ability to do my job was terrible.

It took a bit of luck to get a proper diagnosis. I went to the Doctor with a persistent itchy back (of all things), which led to a blood test, which led to him calling me. I was in the midst of menopause and hadn’t realised.

Help at hand

This can be a scary time, but I am really lucky. I was able to discuss my health openly with both Directors at SVL without a moment’s hesitation. I know I am lucky that these two gents were so open with, and caring for, their staff.

I also know others aren’t so lucky. We can use today to raise awareness not only about the condition, but to encourage greater openness.  If their colleagues do not know enough about the menopause then it potentially makes it very hard for a woman to talk about the symptoms she is experiencing at work.

SVL were brilliant with me. Both before my diagnosis and when my treatment began; I was offered

  • Flexible working.
  • Climate control around my workspace.
  • Opportunities for breaks.
  • Support and understanding (most important of all).

Having this support gave me the strength to go through this period with minimal disruption, which is what I wanted more than anything. We are an independent business with 40 staff. I would say SVL is an example of best practice of any size of organisation… they care for their staff.

What to look out for

If you ‘Google’ any of the excellent articles on the subject, you will read how menopause if often diagnosed as depression. We need to break the stigma related to the symptoms when a woman is lacking in Oestrogen. There is so much that can be done, but each treatment is unique and personal.

It is a condition, not an illness. Like pregnancy, but without the highly visible signs. So, look for the more subtle indicators in yourself, and your colleagues, and your staff.

Have a chat with your GP and if you start to experience what I did….treatments are available. Most importantly, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES with your employer. Research has shown that performance, engagement and productivity are all affected in this group, and 25% of women in this group suffer severe symptoms.

To conclude, I offer my thanks to my Directors and colleagues at SVL for their care and support. It’s great to be here.

 

Pauline Dawson – Data Analyst – SVL Business Solutions.

18th October 2018

Leap of Faith

In our latest blog, Steven Perrins discusses why, over 20 years in the industry, it still requires a “Leap of Faith” from our clients to embrace the latest technologies.

READ MORE
1st November 2018

Is outbound dialling a dying art?

Having worked in an outbound sales / appointment making role for several years, 10 to be exact, it has been very interesting to watch the change in response to direct or ‘cold’ calling. Up to 12 months ago, I had a relatively good success-rate in getting the people I wanted on the phone. However, over […]

READ MORE
9th October 2018

It’s the people who count

Anne Holmes, our Account Director, talks about the importance of building long-term relationships in the complex world of Contact Centre Software.

READ MORE
2nd October 2018

Workforce Management improves performance – guest blog

In this week’s guest blog,  Ben Willmott from our partners Teleopti explains how to leverage the latest workforce management (WFM) solutions and make quick-and-easy wins to maximise return on investment (ROI).

READ MORE
27th September 2018

The truth behind the voice

This week has seen two highly publicised incidents where contact centres have refused service to people in the UK. In separate occurrences, Stephen Dennis and Sophia Reis could not access their bank account, as the operator did not trust validity of their call.

READ MORE
17th September 2018

Tweets

Latest News

Sign up to our newsletter