A CAMPAIGN is being launched in Dorset to raise awareness of how the menopause affects women in the workplace.

Dorset Chamber is leading the initiative as part of a focus on health and wellbeing in business.

It is holding an event on Thursday, July 29, 9.20-11.10am, called Let’s Talk aBout the Menopause.

Guest speakers include Dr Sarah Hattam, a practising GP and expert on the relationship between health and work.

It follows the launch of the chamber’s Got Your 6 (GU6) initiative focusing on the mental health of business leaders.

Ian Girling, Dorset Chamber’s chief executive, said: “This all started with a conversation I had during our GU6 sessions.

“I was speaking to someone who explained just how debilitating the menopause had been for her and how it affected her at work.

“I had a moment of realisation that no-one ever talks about it in the workplace and the affect that it can have. The more I looked into it, the more serious an issue I realised that it was, and that we need to start having conversations about it. Greater education and awareness is the key to understanding just how the menopause can impact women’s health and affect their working lives.

“It is particularly important that men in leadership and management roles understand the issue and adopt a culture of support which is not only the right approach in terms of wellbeing but also from a business perspective too.

“I believe that Dorset is leading the way as the first chamber of commerce nationwide to focus on this issue and hope that our event can kickstart a meaningful conversation in the county and further afield which yields real change.”

Research by the Nuffield Health Group found around 13million women in the UK are peri- or post-menopausal. Symptoms can last up to 15 years and more than 60 per cent of women experience symptoms that result in behaviour changes.

Dr Hattam, founder of the workplace wellbeing consultancy Concilio Health, said: “This is an issue which will affect over half the population, but we don’t talk about it.

“It has a negative impact on work for half of those affected but rarely gets mentioned. It’s a perfectly normal phase in a woman’s life but it can also be a bumpy ride and we all need to understand it, recognise it and manage it.”

Details are at dorsetchamber.co.uk/event/lets-talk-about-the-menopause