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Mental Health, Women

WHISE Leads the Charge in Breaking Menopause Stigma and Promoting Workplace Awareness

Women's Health in the South East 3 mins read
Jodie Belyea, member of WHISE's Menopause Working Group and Managing Director of Women's Spirit Project

In recognition of Menopause Month, Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE), a leading feminist organisation focused on women's health and wellbeing, is spearheading important initiatives to address the challenges surrounding menopause and perimenopause. Recognising the need to lift the stigma, raise awareness about symptoms, encourage help-seeking behaviours, and advocate for workplace support, WHISE is taking bold steps to create positive change.

Working closely with clinicians from Monash Health and Peninsula Health, WHISE has taken on the role of translating clinical expertise into community-friendly information, delivering 18 community sessions to over 200 participants. By simplifying complex content and making it accessible, WHISE has acted as an important link between healthcare professionals and the broader community.

WHISE CEO, Kit McMahon said that addressing this issue is crucial to combating gender inequality, as menopause-related challenges compound existing inequalities and contribute to women leaving the workforce prematurely.

“Working on menopause in our community we are hearing first-hand the discrimination that women face because of sexism and ageism. We need widespread support and policy change to address the barriers that women with menopause face,” said McMahon.

WHISE has produced a case study that highlights the development and implementation of menopause-related policies in two distinct workplace environments, Future Super and ModiBodi.

The case study encourages the adoption of menopause workplace policies which offer essential support to women and gender diverse people navigating the perimenopausal and menopausal stages of life.

“We want to shed light on how different organisations implement these policies and hopefully inspire other workplaces to start their own journey towards introducing menopause policies for the well-being of their employees,” said McMahon.

Jodie Belyea, Managing Director of Women's Spirit Project and member of WHISE's Menopause Working Group, highlights the impact of menopause on older women who possess valuable skills and contributions to the economy and workforce.

“Women in their 50’s and older who are in the prime of their life, when they can make some solid contributions to the economy to the world of work and our organisations, often withdraw from the workplace and applying for senior roles."

With an estimated 10-15% of women experiencing significant disruptions at work due to menopause, it is imperative to prioritise their wellbeing.

WHISE firmly believes that work plays a pivotal role in women's personal development, financial independence, support networks, and overall health.

"Our goal is to make a positive health environment, improve access to services, and help healthcare professionals better care for menopause. We also focus on mental health and supporting strong connections between people. Our aim is to create meaningful changes in society and build a supportive community," says McMahon.

WHISE is excited to announce an upcoming community webinar on the intersection of menopause and mental health, Mind on Menopause. Taking place on November 14, this event will serve as a platform for both experts and individuals with firsthand experiences to engage in an open dialogue about navigating menopause.

Key Facts:

October is Menopause Month and WHISE is undertaking work to address the challenges surrounding menopause and perimenopause.

WHISE has delivered a series of information sessions on menopause in partnership with Peninsula Health, Monash Health, and Women's Health Loddon Mallee.

WHISE developed a case study outlining the development and implementation of menopause policies in two workplaces – Future Super and ModiBodi.

WHISE is delivering a community session on Menopause and Mental Health on 14 November.

About us:



WHISE is a leading health promotion and primary prevention organisation dedicated to improving women's health and wellbeing in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne. WHISE forms part of a network of Women’s Health Services across Victoria. Working in partnership with various stakeholders, WHISE advocates for gender equity, conducts research, delivers health promotion initiatives, and provides capacity-sharing support to enhance the delivery of women's health services. For more information, visit  

Contact details:

WHISE Communications Lead: Doseda Hetherington 0412 317 334. 


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