A Stewkley therapist is fighting for fair treatment of women in the workplace as they experience the menopause, hoping to set up support groups in Leighton Buzzard.
Determined to see change, Diane Danzebrink has recently appeared on Radio 4 Women’s Hour, and travelled to Swansea to meet with shadow minister for Women and Equalities, Carolyn Harris, in order highlight the stigma that women can face when they experience the hormonal change.
Diane is concerned that too many women are leaving their jobs as a result of menopause symtoms, as some have reported that they receive little support, are too scared to ask for help, or even that they have been bullied by colleagues.
Diane said: “Women are not looking for special treatment but we are concerned there is no support pathway in the workplace for menopause, as there is for pregnancy.
“Its symptoms can be debilitating.
“Businesses and organisations have a legal duty of care to their workforce and it is a win-win situation for both employers and employees that menopause is recognised to ensure that staff and managers feel comfortable to discuss it and employers do not lose valued team members.”
The therapist, who also runs a Facebook advice site, helped Swansea’s Tesco store set up a ‘Menopause Support Group’ after one of their employees contacted her on social media.
Diane, 51, said: “Carolyn and I discussed how we can raise awareness at Westminster via a cross party meeting, and how we can engage with employers who already have guidelines and policies to look at the possibility of them sharing ideas that have proved helpful to staff and the business.
“I would love to work with employers in the local Leighton-Linslade area to help them to raise awareness and support their staff through menopause.”
Carolyn Harris MP added:“The fact that 25% of women suffering with menopause symptoms consider leaving work due to lack of support from their employer is appalling.”
The next step for Diane and Carolyn will be to organise a cross-party meeting in Westminster during the Spring, to determine support for possible legislation.
You can listen to Diane’s radio 4 interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vbdxk
Diane runs her social enterprise ‘Menopause Support’ to help women going through hormonal changes.