Having a hot flush? A Salford start-up has the solution
Menopause - all women know it's going to happen at some point, usually between the ages of 45 and 50 - and yet it still remains a topic that we do not talk about openly.
There can be a stigma attached to the subject with women going through it being branded as 'old' or 'past it'. Things are changing as more high-profile personalities spark discussion in the media, talking honestly about their experience and calling for more debate and education.
When menopause symptoms began for Jane Hallam, a colleague and MSc graduate from the University of Salford, she started to speak about her journey which eventually led to her starting a business targeting menopausal women. Esteem - No Pause launched in 2017 with the mission to create stylish clothing that helps alleviate some of the most talked about symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flushes.
Jane said: “ Menopause started at 48 for me, the more I looked into it, the more symptoms I discovered, there are 34 symptoms in total! Education and getting people, not just women, to talk about this natural (ageing) process, will not only help us to understand how to manage it, it will also remove barriers women have traditionally faced as they approach a certain age. The workforce of the future will have a significant percentage of women that are perimenopausal and it is important that we acknowledge this, and organisations support women going through this period of change and not make it an issue.”
When asked what the catalyst was to start her very own niche business she added: “My MSc certainly did help, it gave me the confidence and knowledge how to start a business. It was incredibly hard work, especially moving into a completely new area of work after a 30-year career working in Higher Education.
“As it was something I was personally going through, I was passionate about creating a product that would make a difference. Fashion and personal appearance has always something that has been important to me, so the launch of a clothing line seemed a natural fit. I wanted the products to be genuine and authentic, that is one of the reasons why you will see me model my own line.
“If women are given the right tools to deal with the menopause it can take away that fear of how to deal with certain symptoms.”
Jane has become an ambassador for women going through the menopause and is active member of the University community, Menopause, menopause, menopause. Like many other public sector organisations, The University of Salford has introduced a Menopause Policy to support female colleagues going through this stage in life. She has been described as a media expert on the subject and regularly features in interviews or as a spokesperson at events. Appearances include The Daily Mail, Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland and Top Sante magazine to name a few.
She regularly publishes a blog based on her research and own learnings. When asked what advice she has Jane added: “ It is never too early to start talking about the menopause. I have a daughter in her early 20’s’s and we have conversations about the menopause, she knows what to expect and it is not a taboo topic like it was when I was growing up.
“Don’t be embarrassed, the menopause is natural though not particularly easy for many, trust me you will come out the other side much more energised.”
Image: Jane Hallam modelling a piece from the Esteem-No Pause Collection
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