Managing the Menopause as a Working Woman

Thu 28 Oct 2021 10:00 am UK Time

• We’ve all heard of the symptoms of menopause…
• …but how can agencies better support people going through it?
• We’ll be talking to Lesley Fettes, director of Network Design, about how women in agency can prepare themselves for menopause, and how other colleagues can help too.

What can you expect from the menopause? How can you prepare for it – or support your colleagues through it? We’re joined by Lesley Fettes to hear her experience.

“One of the biggest side effects I had was brain fog. I’d be in meetings, and nothing would go in.”

“These people are just talking at me, and I don’t know what to say in response – and that is a real knock of confidence.”

This is one of the common symptoms of the menopause. For Lesley Fettes, director of Network Design, going through it ended up being a blessing in disguise. 

“I eat better than I ever have done in my life, and I’m doing stuff that I never would have done in my 20s, like obstacle races and half marathons,” she says.

But when it came to going back to work, things got a bit tricky. Working in a small agency at the time, there were no processes in place to help support Lesley, or any of her female colleagues, through the menopause.

“I had to put strategies in place myself to be able to work. And at that point I was still only working part time because my child was still in nursery,” says Lesley. “It was a case of needing to take ownership of what was going on and how I could manage that myself.”

Unfortunately, symptoms vary from woman to woman, and with no support in place, many female colleagues have had to say goodbye to their career just to cope. 

“The amount of women that leave their jobs from menopause symptoms because they’re not supported is just crazy,” says Lesley. “You finally get to that point in your life where you feel like you have a career and you’ve cracked it. Then this can kind of slam you in the face.”

So, what can we do to support those going through the menopause? Lesley will be talking us through:

  • How she navigated menopause as a working woman. 
  • What processes bigger agencies need to have in place. 
  • How male colleagues can help.
  • Menopause myths and the realities of menopause.