Let’s talk about menopause

People Stories

Mental Wellbeing

Let’s talk about menopause

There’s some great work going on around the business at CityFibre to raise awareness for menopause and support our colleagues. PMO Analyst, Beverly Goldsworthy is leading the conversation on how menopause affects people and what employers, and employees, can do to help.

31 October 2023

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It's a subject that Beverly has personal experience with. When she was having health issues, she made several visits to her GP without getting a clear diagnosis. It was only when she spoke to someone outside of work that she realised she might be experiencing perimenopause.

Beverly eventually reached out to CityFibre’s private healthcare provider, Vitality, and spoke to a nurse through a health programme called Peppy. This helped her to gain the information she needed to get the right diagnosis and the treatment from her GP.

Her own experiences got Beverly thinking about how many other people there are who are going through the same struggles. The health aspects are just one part of the conversation. It’s the uncertainty, lack of understanding and the challenge of getting a diagnosis that isn’t being spoken about enough.

We spoke with Beverly to find out more to mark Menopause Awareness Month.

How did you start to raise awareness about menopause and your story?

After sharing my personal experiences with a colleague, I was pointed in the direction of our Gender Network to help kickstart the conversation. They were really interested and keen to help me bring more awareness to the business and to help our colleagues.

Since I joined the CityFibre Gender Network, I have grown so much in confidence. I am being encouraged and supported to do more things outside of my comfort zone and to share my story in new ways. This is how the Coffee & Chat sessions were born!

Can you tell us about the Coffee & Chat sessions?

I really wanted to get people talking about the menopause, because people don’t talk about it enough. There seems to be a real stigma, people are scared to talk about it and still see it as taboo.

My main aim was for more of us to share our experiences, shine a light on the symptoms and start normalising the topic. And it’s worked! We’ve hosted three sessions to date and have had about 30 participants.

I also felt it was important to start conversations earlier, not just when you start experiencing symptoms. Menopause isn’t always perfectly timed, and symptoms rarely happen in the same order, so it’s really important to know what you may be coming up against.

What are the Coffee & Chat sessions like?

They’re an informal virtual call where I share my personal story, some slides that touch on what the menopause is, the common symptoms and things to help alleviate symptoms.

It’s very laid back and a safe space for people to talk if they want to, however there’s no expectation to – participants are welcome to just listen if they wish and the calls are not recorded for this reason.

There has been a lot of really positive feedback. One of the upsides, has been the increasing interest in the Gender Network, and more employees joining. I am just glad I can help colleagues and ensure they feel seen and looked after. It’s a really rewarding feeling.

"The research and insights shared in the coffee & chat sessions are brilliant: practical tools in a supportive environment" - Caroline

Sounds great. What’s next?

We have another Coffee & Chat session coming up soon, in addition we’re also looking at starting a project to support men experiencing the menopause.

Not everyone knows that men can experience menopause symptoms, it is in fact really common. Hopefully, we can start a conversation and get people talking more about that, too.

Menopause is something most of us will experience at some point in our lives, whether personally or through a friend, family member or colleague's experience. At CityFibre, we are really proud of the way our people consistently show up for each other, and back each other when it counts the most. To learn more about our culture, click here.