“I describe menopause as going from ambition to destination. By discovering your genius, developing new coping strategies, and learning what really motivates you, your symptoms disappear.”
Menopause as a Taboo
Saron Petronilia and I met each other at one of her workshops a couple of years ago. Her business specializes in Menopause and Work. She teaches working women how to excel in their careers throughout menopause, full of energy and self-confidence. As far as I’m concerned, that earns her the title of Wonder Woman of the Week!
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life that should represent the culmination of years of work experience — the time that she makes another step in her career plans, like taking a top position or joining a board.
But too often menopause is seen as a taboo. People don’t talk about it, and most doctors aren’t trained in it, so many women don’t even know they’re in menopause, much less understand how to not just cope with the symptoms, but to flourish at this stage of their lives.
To Not Just Function, To Excel
I asked Saron a few questions about her business and her clients.
Tammy:What’s been yourbest-selling service in the past year?
Saron: Actually both parts of my business have really grown — the individual coaching and coaching businesses like hospitals, schools and government agencies. I pick and choose the businesses I work for. If I sense that a company wants to hire me because they feel like they have to, when they actually see menopause as a weakness, or if they want me to work for almost free, I politely decline. That’s part of menopause — know your strengths and your worth and stand for them.
Tammy: So you practice what you preach; I like it! What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
Saron: I especially enjoy the one-on-one coaching because of the drastic transformation these clients make. They come to me at a really low point in their lives, and I help them to not just function, but to excel. This can be done remotely, so clients can work with me from any location.
From Ambition to Destination
Tammy: What’s the process like? How are you helping your clients?
Saron: I describe menopause as going from ambition to destination. By discovering your genius, developing new coping strategies, and learning what really motivates you, your symptoms disappear. Then women can function based on their qualities and not be ruled by their hormones.
Tammy: I remember being shocked when I attended your workshop and you said women can be in menopause for 10 years. How do you know if you’re in menopause?
Saron: There are any number of symptoms, which people often attribute to other causes. For example: burn out. But everyone experiences menopause differently. Some have hot flashes, some have trouble sleeping, another might be short-tempered. The best thing you do is listen to my free online training, where I give a lot of the basic information.
You can compare menopause to adolescence: it starts and ends at different ages for different people. And everyone experiences it differently.
In Every Boardroom, Hot Flashes
Saron: Between all of those men in grey suits in the board room, the women in red dresses are coming. They’re like roses in full bloom, and I’m glad I can help them get there. My motto: In every boardroom hot flashes!
To Learn More
Supervisors and HR managers interested in learning more about how to address menopause-related challenges for their staff, click here to sign up for Saron’s free introduction workshop on 18 March from 14:00-16:30 in Utrecht. The presentation will be in Dutch.
Or maybe you’d like one-on-one coaching tailored to your situation and goals. Contact Saron at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask her for a free introduction session.
I could listen to Saron for hours, so I wanted you to have a clip of her speaking as well. Here is a short audio fragment:
Saron Petronilia (1961) is vrouw, moeder, coach, trainer, spreker, auteur, voormalig cultuurjournalist en nog zoveel meer. Ze voelt zich heerlijk fit en vitaal, en helemaal in flow in haar werk. Dat is niet altijd zo geweest. Ze is tijdens haar eigen overgang door een flink dal gegaan, inclusief depressies en gebrek aan zelfwaardering. Het feit dat ze veel van de overgang afwist, onder andere door het schrijven van Alles wat je moet weten over de overgang, heeft haar daarvoor niet kunnen behoeden. Weten is nog anders dan kennis toepassen.
Haar weg uit het dal is de basis geworden van haar aanpak om werkende vrouwen (40-60 jaar) bij te staan die last hebben van overgangssymptomen én de greep op hun carrière willen herpakken.