"Today I am more qualified, more experienced and much more confident."
Carolynn Crosby says the menopause ‘crept up’ on her in her early forties. Feeling constantly tired and anxious, the HR Advisor for TSB credits lifestyle changes and a supportive manager in helping her cope.
TSB has signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge and Carolynn says she’s proud to work for a company that takes the issue seriously.
You could say I’m the ‘go-to person’ at TSB for all things related to the menopause. That’s not a role I expected when I started my career but it’s one I am proud to hold today. I’ve been going through the menopause for the last ten years and have had every symptom going. Since then, I have been trying to make it part of a normal conversation and less of a taboo subject at work. It’s not just women suffering - their partners are affected too.
My role in HR includes advising managers, and I draw on my experience to help them support colleagues going through the menopause. I’ve been vocal for many years on the subject and am very proud of how TSB is now making this issue a priority.
‘We want people to feel empowered to change their lives and speak openly’
Using my experience, I’ve worked with the policy team to create a new package of ‘Menopause-related support’ in partnership with Bupa. TSB has also signed Wellbeing of Women's Menopause Workplace Pledge, which recognises that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace. We want people to feel empowered to change their lives and speak openly and ask for help.
My symptoms crept up on me, and I had no idea what was happening. It started in my early forties but things got worse over the next few years. I felt constantly fatigued and anxious. I kept forgetting things, had a serious case of brain fog and really felt I was losing my mind.
It took a while to work out what was going on but from the start my manager was understanding and supportive. I was able to work flexibly and I now work compressed hours. That means I get a Wednesday off and that is so essential, not least for my mental health.
I’ve tried HRT and alternative medicines but what helped me most was changing my diet and exercise. I never imagined that I would be taking up mountain biking and roller-skating in my fifties but keeping fit while having fun has proved a game-changer for me. I also set myself goals and managed to complete my CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) during lockdown. Today I am more qualified, more experienced and much more confident.
I’m looking at this time as a new chapter in my life, where I have the maturity, confidence, experience and knowledge to enjoy life to the full. It’s a new me and I am grabbing life with both hands.”
Wellbeing for Women is calling on more employers to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge and commit to supporting their staff going through the menopause. Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.