We recently hosted a dinner in New York City with leaders from some of the largest organizations who have potential to create change in the women’s health space: corporations, health plans, hospital systems, and more. The goal? Further spark the flames of a growing movement to change the conversation around how we support women and women’s health in the workplace.
Our attendees included leaders from AllWays Health Partners, Reddit, EmblemHealth, Luminary, Guardian Life, OURA, J.P. Morgan, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Estée Lauder, with two esteemed speakers: Lisa Cabarcos (Ernst & Young) and Pamela Hutchinson (Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Bloomberg).
The result was powerful: Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Medical Officers, Global DEI Leaders, and Chief Operating Officers alike shared incredible stories about personal hormonal health journeys and committed to actionable ideas for navigating women’s health in the professional space.
Menopause is a very real, very taboo women’s health topic impacting millions of people in the workforce. From women forced into surgical menopause due to hysterectomy in their 20s to executives hit with perimenopause and menopause in their 40s and 50s, we all know someone – multiple people – navigating menopause.
Community is EVERYTHING
Menopause can be an incredibly lonely, isolating period, which is why it is so powerful to share stories in a safe space. There is power in vulnerability, strength in numbers, and relief in knowing that you’re not alone. And no, this isn’t “all in your head.”
Elektra co-founder Alessandra Henderson summed it up best with her rally cry at the dinner: “if you whisper it, you shame it. If you shout it, you conquer it.” (A quote she attributes to her incredible grandmother.) Bringing such an amazing group of women together to share stories and advocate for change is just one way Elektra is “shouting” our message until we collectively shatter the shame and stigma around menopause.
“If you whisper it, you shame it. If you shout it, you conquer it.”
Menopause symptoms are no joke
Women told anecdotes about going downstairs only to forget why they were there. Or experiencing such poor sleep that it exacerbated other symptoms. Or even feeling convinced they were experiencing dementia – to the point of getting a brain scan — only to find out that their forgetfulness was due to hormonal changes.
Needless to say, symptoms are varied, numerous, and above all incredibly confusing. That’s why we put together a 21st-Century Guide To Menopause to demystify the primary symptoms, and why we built a platform to help navigate the ups, downs, and all arounds.
There’s deep desire for change
The most powerful (and encouraging!) part of the dinner was seeing powerful women across industries, organizations, and disciplines come together as a community to affect meaningful change.
Because while not every woman will get pregnant, every woman will experience menopause. Menopause affects 100% of the female population, which is precisely why we need to create and offer better solutions and education.
Additional context on menopause in the workplace
This year we conducted research with over 2000 US female employees between the ages of 40-55. Here’s what we found:
- 1 in every 5 women has left or considered leaving a job due to their menopause symptoms.
- 18% haven’t gone for a promotion for the same reason. That number jumps to 24% for Black women.
- 87% of women have experienced a symptom at work.
- 62% of women would find support from an employer helpful.
So what are you waiting for?
Ready to take action?
We’re excited about the movement these leaders and our community will accelerate.
Get started by reading through our top-requested resources on how to support employees in the workplace:
- Elektra’s Menopause in the Workplace Report
- Our guide for what employers should be doing to support women
Ready to bring menopause benefits, events, or training to your workplace? Complete the form on our Organization page to receive more information.
We invite anyone and everyone to complete the form — whether you’re an employee looking to bring Elektra to your company or the head of benefits at a Fortune 100. We’re here for you. Because smashing taboos is WAY more fun with friends, colleagues, and allies.