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Fast Company: ‘I knew we were responsible.’ Why this CEO openly discusses menopause at work

Fast Company: Why this CEO openly discusses menopause at work

By: Sarah Chavarria, Chief Executive Officer at Delta Dental of California and Affiliates

Fast Company — It struck unexpectedly in my mid-forties. Unpredictable migraines, gum sensitivity, shoulder pain akin to a heart attack, and of course, the famous hot flashes.

Menopause impacts more than one million women in the U.S. each year and nearly half of the global workforce.  However, despite a growing societal focus on this pivotal life stage, it remains shrouded in stigma, leaving many women reluctant to share their experiences.

When I discussed my symptoms with my primary care physician, I was disheartened. Instead of connecting these new symptoms to hormonal changes brought on by perimenopause, I felt like my concerns were dismissed as unimportant.

Unfortunately, I learned my experience is far from unique. Following additional health consultations and screenings, I connected with many other women who shared familiar stories of receiving seemingly non-existent compassion and care for a range of perimenopause symptoms. This compelled me to share my experience with women everywhere to encourage positive change in the care we receive throughout the entire menopausal experience.

As CEO of Delta Dental, I knew we were responsible for contributing to the national conversation and raising public awareness around the often-unacknowledged link between menopause and oral health. As a leader, I felt compelled to make inclusive changes within our organization and to influence other leaders to do the same.

Read Sarah Chavarria's full article in Fast Company and Fast Company Brazil.