UK-based Sarah Cale is the Founder of Positive Menopause Limited, a community network group for women going through the menopause. She talks to The Industry Leaders about why her work is important and why women shouldn't be written off because of their age or health.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Having worked within the construction industry for the past 35 years, I felt a little unfulfilled and unsure about my purpose within the industry.
I began to explore the possibility of starting a small business off the back of a community group I had formed three years previous to support women in the local area as they navigated their menopause journey. My initial thought was to work with other companies to improve their menopause provision for their employees. Even though I took an HR course to help me with this, I decided it was not the area I wanted to work in for the long haul.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I am still working within the construction industry; however, my role within Positive Menopause covers many functions. These would include building a website, research into the menopause, and outreach to various other communities (housing associations etc.) to enable support for their ladies. I also spend my time preparing articles covering other more light-hearted interests, such as fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
What gets you excited about your industry?
My industry is one that is developing daily. More women are being given voices, to the point that the menopause is now a part of the school curriculum.
Women mustn't be written off because of their age or health in any industry. They have so much wisdom and knowledge, and this needs to be celebrated. For sure, women are supporting other women, and long may this continue to be the case.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
To pinpoint the best advice anyone has ever given me would be pretty difficult because my advice has always arrived through learning; whether reading or taking short courses. If I want to know about a specific topic, I will go all out to find out about it. Take, for example, building my website; I did that myself through learning and watching videos because I believe in my ability.
What, or who inspires you?
People who stand up for what they believe-in inspire me - those who speak out against injustice because they care about the cause.
I'm inspired by people who are willing to commit their time and energy to improve other people's lives, as well as people who've struggled in their younger years to become extremely successful in their personal lives and business.
I also love to see businesses support their employees and acknowledge their gifts and talents.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
The topic of menopause is being discussed far more now than it ever has, whether that's through social media sharing or the news. Keeping up to speed with what's happening is relatively easy because so many people are talking about it!
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
There have been many challenging situations I have had to overcome during my career, but they have to lead me to the place I am at now. The most challenging project is getting other people to engage in the work I am doing to help them.
I want all women to be hungry to help and support one another, whether through my platform or someone else's. I want them to be open and honest in the workplace about how they feel without any form of prejudice.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
If I won $10 million, I would invest it. Having an accounting background would mean that I would not spend it on fast cars and high life. Although there may be some fun had along the way!
After that, I would support my family and set up a company helping young mums retrain to get back into the workplace or start businesses.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
Switching off is something I have always struggled with mentally. My mind never stops ticking. And I am not particularly interested in the next best Netflix show. However, as I have an autoimmune disorder, my health and well-being are vital, so I run and lift weights in the gym.
I also do some dressmaking and run a fashion and lifestyle Instagram account. So I am always looking at producing new content for the Positive Menopause website and my social media accounts.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
If I was to look at the industry I work in on a day-to-day basis; I would wish that it was far less misogynistic and that women were treated as equals regardless of their field. I also think that many workplaces have lost their sense of humour. When I was younger, we used to be able to laugh with one another in the workplace. I haven't experienced this for a long time.
In the industry of health and wellbeing, I would hope that there is a significant development in taking menopause symptoms seriously - particularly those that affect mental health.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
One of the best books I have read is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
How should people connect with you?
You can connect with me via any of the following: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-cale-2a03795a/
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