Not surprisingly, research shows that many women are hesitant to talk about menopause at work, for fear that they’ll be ridiculed, discriminated against, or marked as targets for layoffs. As long as the corporate world avoids the topic, women will suffer in silence—or perhaps even drop out of the workforce all together.
Of course men should mentor women. It’s wrong (and illegal) to exclude half the population. But taking a save-the-day approach won’t work very well, either. Even the standard mentoring approach of the mentor as all-knowing guru, dispensing knowledge, implies a hierarchical, one-way relationship that can frame men who mentor women as champions, heroes, even rescuers. In this model, the mentor shares wisdom, throws down challenges, and when necessary, protects his protégé from all malignant forces in the organization.