Newcastle University Professor Karen Ross’s engaged press release on the “menopause leave”

The details of Professor Karen Ross's press release following the Government's rejection of menopause leave.

Margaux Martinez
13th February 2023
Following the government’s rejection of the “menopause leave” proposed by the Women and Equalities Committee, professor of Gender and Media at Newcastle University Karen Ross shared her opinions in a press release.

In January 2023, 12 recommendations to help women through their menopause were introduced to the government. Five of these were rejected, including the implementation of a “menopause leave”. The government explained their decision by their fear of it turning into a discriminatory measure towards men who are suffering from serious medical conditions.

In her engaged press release, Professor Karen Ross expressed her outrage at the fact that in their minds, “more to her means less to him”. She recalls how important menopause is in a woman’s life and the impact it has. According to a British Menopause Society survey, 45% of women indicate that their menopause symptoms had a negative impact on their work. The hot flashes and brain fogs induced by it can be hard to work with especially if one’s workplace is not supportive.

Karen Ross aims to reiterate the importance of employers’ response despite what the government has decided. The need to educate themselves and create a safe environment for their women employees is deemed necessary for her. She suggests a development of “proactive strategies” like they have done at Newcastle University. 

“Universities have the opportunity- both as employers and experts- to lead the way in driving a positive change in the way we support women during the menopause”

At the University, menopause has been a subject of discussion and many measures have been taken to address it. In her opinion, they are much better equipped at this than the government. Through policies and guidance, the university offers support and advice to women during this time as well as raises awareness for men and younger women. The safe space created allows them to share their experience and thus make this easier to deal with.

She ends her statement by highlighting the need for men to be part of this equation and to “come on the journey with us” (women). It is not a fight reserved for women. Actually, men’s involvement can only be beneficial for the cause.

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