Woman at desk

Why Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policies Need To Include A Woman’s Hormonal Changes

Imagine if you will…

You have a presentation to deliver to a key client.  You’ve stretched yourself a little thin to make it happen on their timeline, but this isn’t your first rodeo and you are a whiz when it comes to pulling off the miraculous.  

PowerPoint cued up, check.

Microphone plugged in, check.

Notifications off, check.

Your belly starts to flutter as it always does.  You’re used to that at this stage in your career.  Something this important is bound to elicit such a response.  Your pits begin their water works, but again that is par for the course.  

You have a lot riding on this presentation, and your usual level of confidence has shown up front and center…double check.  “Thank you Experience”.

That is until you feel “it” coming.  That tingle deep in your core telling you it’s on its way.  The dreaded hot flush is crashing this well orchestrated party despite the fact she was not on the calendar invite.  

Cue the red face, neck and chest.  Daggum.  Here comes the sweat. There is no way to play it cool when you’re burning up and all eyes are on you.

This is a moment many women experience. Some, multiple times a day.  To say it is ”inconvenient” is the understatement of all understatements.  Add to this the fact she has momentary lapses with common words and names of people she’s worked with side-by-side for years, and you’ve got a textbook case of “anxiety with a straight-stress chaser”.  

Imagine the pressure that adds to a presentation!

Now we don’t talk about this happening to us, mind you.  We keep this close to the vest. Even when that vest is sweat-soaked bringing on a chill to contend with.  

I feel compelled to speak up and share what your coworkers, your partners, your leaders, and your friends may be experiencing.  They most likely won’t tell you themselves. There’s zero freedom to do so.  

We live in a world that values automaton over human.  The exactingness of the masculine, over the flexibility of feminine flow. 

She doesn’t have a disease, she’s experiencing perimenopause.  A natural stage in the evolution of a woman.  We’ve been going through it since the dawn of time.  It’s only now that we’re talking more about it.  

This conversation has a place in every room you find women.  In the boardroom and the bedroom.  Different conversations, mind you, but conversations to be had nonetheless.

The stakes are high.  At a time when we need more women in business, women are shutting down their businesses and quitting jobs in response to their hormonal shifts.  As we’re ramping up the diversity & inclusion conversation we need to include policies that support women at all stages of their hormonal journey.  

The current silence is internalized as shame by women.  And that is unacceptable.  Let’s change this for ourselves and those who are looking to us for guidance.  

Follow me on LinkedIn to join this critical conversation.

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