The Countess of Wessex hailed women over 50 as “even more fabulous” than in their forties as she supported a campaign to highlight the “tragic” impact menopause can have on them instead of. job.
Sophie joined the launch of the Menopause Workplace Pledge by the Wellbeing of Women charity, which calls on all employers to enroll and support postmenopausal women.
An estimated 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs due to menopause, with research showing many struggle to manage their symptoms at work.
Queen Sophie’s daughter-in-law took part in a panel discussion with the President of Women’s Welfare, Professor Dame Lesley Regan and TV presenter Gabby Logan, among others, and warned that women should not stand by feeling compelled to “move away into the shadows”.
“To think that women have to leave the workplace because of (menopause) is just tragic,” the countess said.
“We’re fabulous in our forties, and we’re even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 60s, and we have to celebrate that and keep these opportunities for women.
“Together, we can support the thousands of women who are the backbone of our workforce.
“We cannot let anyone leave this workforce dissatisfied and also feel that they must fall into the shadows. This is not fair and we have to be able to change that.
Sophie, who is the godmother of Wellbeing of Women, spoke about her own experience of menopause earlier this year – the first member of the royal family to do so at length in public.
The 56-year-old countess described hot flashes, memory loss and brain fog – all symptoms of menopause.
She has spoken of losing track of her thoughts on royal engagements and feeling like someone has gotten her brains out.
Three in four women will have symptoms of menopause and one in four will have severe symptoms, such as anxiety, brain fog, poor concentration, fatigue, hot flashes and irregular and heavy bleeding, according to the doctor. research.
The panel heard from Barbara Claypole, who spoke about how she had to quit her senior management job after going through menopause following a hysterectomy.
“I really felt completely alone. It was as if no one in my workplace had ever talked about menopause before, ”said Ms. Claypole.
“It was as if they had never heard of women and menopause, and didn’t understand the impact it can have on your performance at work.”
Labor MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, described her own experience, saying she went from “the Hey Big Spender belt on karaoke to being in a pink anorak with the hood on for six months thinking that I was having a nervous breakdown ”.
She said she spent 11 years on antidepressants before starting to quit after starting HRT recently.
“Menopause is a fact of life. We have to stop pretending that it will go away if we don’t talk about it, ”she added.
Obstetrician and gynecologist Professor Dame Lesley said: “In the UK, nearly five million women work between the ages of 45 and 60.
“The majority of these women will go through menopause, which frequently coincides with the peak of their careers, a time when they are most prosperous and productive.
“It is encouraging that many employers can and are taking steps to support struggling employees on the job.
“We hope that many more will sign on to our pledge to ensure that no woman is left behind.”
PwC, HarperCollins UK, Santander UK, Tesco, Severn Trent, Aster Group, Bupa, Hello! magazine, Standard Chartered and First Direct are among the companies already listed.
Natasha Adams, chief of staff at Tesco, said the supermarket company plans to introduce more breathable fabric in employee uniforms starting next year to help women with hot flashes, and also put in place of advice, training and dedicated support.
The Menopause Workplace Pledge, in partnership with Hello! magazine and supported by Bupa, calls on all organizations to commit to recognizing that menopause is a problem in the workplace; talk about it openly, positively and respectfully; and actively support employees.