By Emma Dooney
Sophie Wessex has made a powerful statement on supporting women in menopause, in light of research revealing its devastating effect on their representation in the workforce.
- Sophie Wessex has called on UK employers to support women during menopause by signing Menopause Workplace Pledge.
- The Countess of Wessex, who has shared her own experience of menopause in the past, said it was 'tragic' that women are leaving the workplace because of this issue.
- In other royal news, Meghan Markle wore an iconic lipstick on her Time cover and you probably have it in your beauty stash.
The Countess of Wessex has teamed up with her patronage, Wellbeing of Women, to call on employers to sign the charity's Menopause Workplace Pledge and commit to supporting their female staff in the workforce.
The campaign, which has been launched to mark Menopause Awareness Month, has already been endorsed by retail giants like Tesco and Harper Collins UK. It comes off the back of various similar initiatives, including a new menopause health service for men and the launch of a menopause app to help women take control of their health.
Sophie, 56, spoke passionately about the issue at a virtual round table on Tuesday, calling the mass exodus of women from the workforce "tragic."
To mark #MenopauseAwarenessMonth, The Countess of Wessex joined her Patronage, @WellbeingofWmen, to launch their new ‘Menopause Workplace Pledge'.The charity is calling on employers to support women going through menopause in the workplace. Follow @WellbeingofWmen for more. pic.twitter.com/pGCtyevCt3October 5, 2021
It’s estimated that approximately 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs due to menopause symptoms, which affect between 75% and 80% of women. With women over 50 now the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace, the need for more understanding of menopause by employers is becoming increasingly evident.
“To think that women are having to leave the workplace because of this is just tragic,” she said. “We are fabulous in our forties, we are even more fabulous in our fifties and sixties and seventies.”
“We need to celebrate that and keep those opportunities going for women. We cannot let anybody leave that workforce unfulfilled and also feeling that they have got to slope off into the shadows. It’s not right and we’ve got to be able to change that.”
The Countess, who lives at Bagshot Park with her husband, Prince Edward, and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn, is no stranger to talking about this important health issue. Sophie opened up about her own menopause experience in a refreshingly candid video for Wellbeing of Women earlier this year, in the hope of destigmatizing the subject in the public discourse.
“It's something that happens to us 12 times a year; it's something that's incredibly normal but it's something that is very hidden. And I think it's time to say, 'Enough!'" she said.
She went on the share how the menopause affected her focus at work, causing her to forget her train of thought and stumble on her words.
"You suddenly can't remember what on earth it was you were talking about. Try being on an engagement when that happens," she said.
"Your words just go. And you're standing there going, 'Hang on, I thought I was a reasonably intelligent person.' What has just happened to me?
"It's like someone has just gone and taken your brain out for however long before they pop it back in again, and you try and pick up the pieces and carry on."
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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