Women’s health panel inspire at networking lunch

Helen Hughes, Claire Ingle, Sophie Richards, Anna Cooper, Deborah Garlick

Women from across the West Midlands joined us at our exclusive Women in Business lunch at Zen Metro to discuss women’s health in the workplace.

A panel of experts opened up the conversation as to why women’s health should be on every company’s HR agenda.

Helen Hughes, partner at Shakespeare Martineau who sponsored the event, discussed the law firms menopause policy, which also helps companies approach the topic with their employees. She explained that there is currently there is no protection from employment law for peri-menopause or menopause.

Deborah Garlick, the director at Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace created the biggest question and answer about menopause ever. Deborah’s discussion was timely as the UK is facing a national shortage of HRT medication.

The consensus of the Q&A revealed the misconceptions and lack of knowledge surrounding the menopause. Deborah helped to break the taboo of the topic through revealing her own experience on HRT and encouraged other women to seek help.

Speaking on her experiences of endometriosis, Sophie Richards encouraged the room to open up about chronic health conditions in the workplace and make your employer aware of your symptoms.

Claire Ingle from Fertility Matters at Work gave the most powerful of the day. Speaking about her fertility journey where she did not tell her employer about her rounds of IVF and how she dealt with the loss of her child was incredibly moving.

Chaired by our business journalist Anna Cooper, she said: “I felt fortunate to spend an afternoon with such empowering women from across the region.

“These events are such a good opportunity not only to network but to learn from the stories of successful women.

“I’m really excited to be launching our next event very soon and create a vibrant Women in Business community for the West Midlands.”