Invisible women of menopause

Sculptures of ‘invisible women’ recently went on show across the UK, including Leeds, to mark the release of Generation Menopause: The Invisibility Report, a white paper evidencing the neglect and disregard for the 13 million menopausal women in the UK today.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 9:23 am

The compelling stunt and white paper research have been delivered by new menopause website, GEN M, to deliver a wakeup call to brands, employers and individuals to represent the 87 per cent of menopausal women who believe that mid-life women are overlooked by society.

GEN M is the first website of its kind, designed for the time-poor, busy woman for whom the menopause is an inconvenience.

As well as wider support networks, it brings the best of the menopause together in one place.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Nationwide research, conducted among 2,010 women aged 35–60 years old, has brought a new depth of insight on the distinct lack of support, education or knowledge on the menopause, as well as the extent to which the women in our society are suffering in silence – 10 per cent for which the transition lasts up to 12 years.

The 8 out of 10 menopausal women in work – the fastest growing demographic in the workforce today – appear to be the most significantly impacted.

Over half of career women said the perimenopause made them feel invisible. Those whose career was on a high when it began were significantly unprepared, knew almost nothing about it and for 85 per cent, it negatively impacted their relationship with their spouse or partner.

The research found that society’s stigma around the topic is having a grave mental and emotional impact on women going through the menopause with 41 per cent feeling ‘lonely, invisible, irrelevant and dispensable’.

Furthermore, half of menopausal women feel anxious, 40 per cent feel unattractive and 40 per cent lack confidence.

When asked how much those around them knew about the mental and emotional effects of the menopause, 75 per cent said their children knew nothing or very little, 67 per cent said their partner knows nothing or very little and 52 per cent said their employer knows nothing or very little.

Heather Jackson, Co-Founder of GEN M, explained: “We launched GEN M this month with an overwhelming belief that women deserve better and that we all have a duty in making this life changing transition that little bit easier.

“This research has substantiated what we already thought – that society is letting down women when they need support the most.

“What we’ve found is that irrefutably, women in their mid-life feel overlooked.”

When asked what would be most beneficial for women going through the perimenopause and menopause, 94 per cent said society being more open, 93 per cent said friends and family being better informed, 90 per cent said brands working harder to be inclusive and cater to menopausal women and 88 per cent said workplaces being better set up to support menopausal women.

Sam Simister, Co-Founder of GEN M, added: “Menopause is not something we want brands or employers to fear. It is a natural transition that half of the world will one day experience.

“It is our ambition to engage with purpose-led brands on collaborative solutions and tried and test products that cater to our needs and help make the experience better for women.

“The menopause is not just about hot sweats and HRT. From shampoos for thinning hair to extra intensity creams for your skin and temperature regulating clothing and bedding – our shopping needs go through ‘the change’ as well.

“We need the brands and retailers we’ve been loyal to, to transition with us. The invisible women sculptures intend to deliver a statement to wider society that we can’t leave women to suffer in silence - we are not invisible; we are Generation Menopause and through collaborative partnerships, together, we can navigate this.”

GEN M aspires to be an inclusive, collaborative resource that celebrates and signposts those genuinely making a difference, curating the very best of the menopause.

Working inclusively for all of those impacted by the menopause - from pre, early, peri and menopausal individuals through to wider society - who have a duty and role to play in removing the taboo and delivering simple, trusted, time-efficient solutions, now and for the future.

To access the Generation Menopause white paper and find out more about GEN M, please visit: https://gen-m.com/invisibility-report/