Nutley businesswoman Kathryn Colas who 12 years ago made it her mission to break taboos around discussion of menopause has published a manual to help women get through this stage of life.
The book, How to Survive Menopause Without Losing your Mind, has been published following the launch of an online course of the same name.
It takes you through Kathryn’s own menopause with stories, anecdotes and personal recollections which readers will recognise. It also points to solutions discovered through her own research and findings.
Kathryn says her menopause was made worse because she couldn’t find answers to her many questions. Nobody was talking about it.
The trials she went through – she was depressed, suicidal, not being the mother she wanted to be, unable to cope at work, erratic, emotional and her marriage almost ended in divorce – led her to set herself challenge of making things better for women of the future.
The book, being launched in London today, is one of the many ways she is meeting that challenge.
More ground-breaking work is being done through Simply Hormones, a business Kathryn launched towards the end of her menopause, which aims to help women find a better quality of life.
It takes her knowledge into the workplace, providing employers with tools to support their staff.
She has been hugely successful in making her voice heard and clients include the Schools Advisory Service, one of the big four accounting firms KPMG, and the London Fire Service.
Kathryn told Uckfield News “The menopause landscape is improving in leaps and bounds. A much different place from the barren hinterland that existed when I first started 12 years ago.
“Hardly a day goes by without a celebrity telling her story about the challenges she’s facing. The result of all this is women are learning that they don’t have to suffer in silence.
“Job done, then! Well, not quite, because for me, it’s always been about the bigger picture – taking menopause into the workplace, where it has the greatest impact.
“The training we provide to key personnel, and others, is designed to meet an employer’s duty of care.
“Where you may think this is a responsibility taken on by human resources, you’d be wrong; there is a new wave of professionals that come under the banner of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and they are embracing the benefits of menopause training.
“One important challenge experienced by women themselves is the affect their symptoms are having on the rest of the workforce, through mood swings and other symptoms that have not previously caused a problem.
“All of this can seriously curtail future career ambitions. Women are not rising through the ranks as expected. Something is stopping their progress. It’s menopause – The Silent Career Killer – details of which are fully discussed in Chapter 10 of the book.
Kathryn said that if employers choose to do nothing, women may already be considering resignation but if they cling on, they could be facing:
- Disciplinary procedures
- Legal complications
- Non Disclosure Agreements
This is expensive for employers.
She adds: “Our own clients are recognising that this could be very costly, let alone the potential for reputational damage. For instance, I was recently approached by a global airline, who are keen to work with us, particularly in exploring our online programmes, as 90% of their staff work remotely.
“This new knowledge will create opportunities for staff to deal with the situation on their own terms, as well as being able to engage with (what will become) their trained managers and colleagues. The end result will be a far better integrated workforce that will have valuable resources to tap into.
“Our clients now see that by engaging with menopause they are seeing improvements across the board through:
- Implementing a Best Practice Policy enhanced through training key personnel
- Retaining valuable, experienced staff in all areas of employment
- Better financial outcomes for all
“Why would you want a situation where staff are becoming involuntary victims of menopause which is having an adverse effect on working practices? And, why are you prepared to lose talented staff because of menopause?”
Kathryn’s book How to Survive the Menopause Without Losing your Mind is available through the Simply Hormones website. It costs £15 plus postage and packaging.
The course is also available through the SimplyHormones website, for £175. This includes a 45min 1:1 telephone consultation.
There is also a Facebook group that Kathryn runs, connecting menopausal women who share their experiences, solutions, thoughts and feelings. Follow this link to ‘The Menopause Hub’ and request to join.