What is your current role within the company?
I am the founder of Menopause Cafe and chairperson of the Board.
This is a voluntary role.
What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?
I am founder and senior partner at Rowan Consultancy, Perth, www.rowan-consultancy.co.uk. We help people lead more satisfying lives through coaching, counselling, workplace mediation, facilitation and training.
What makes your company and/or your role stand out?
Menopause Café meets the zeitgeist by breaking the taboo surrounding menopause and making it an acceptable topic of conversation. This also opens up conversations around gendered ageism and society’s image of older women.
Menopause Café uses a social franchise model, which encourages spread worldwide.Pop-up events are run by volunteers, enabling it to grow beyond the resources and reach of the Trustees.
Menopause Café is counter-cultural by going against the idea of expectation and experts, instead we empower participants to come up with their own agenda and to find their own solutions.
This builds on my experience of counselling and coaching, where empowerment is key.
What is your area of expertise / inspiration?
I was inspired by Jon Underwood who founded Death Café www.deathcafe.com to enable people, often strangers, to gather to drink tea, eat cake and talk about death. Jon kindly gave me permission to apply his model to another taboo subject: menopause.
Kirsty Wark, patron of Menopause Café, was also an inspiration through her TV programme “Menopause and Me” which made me realise the lack of conversations around this natural event which happens to everywoman.
My area of expertise is having a vision and seeing it through, by assembling a team with varied talents who do the groundwork and provide sustainability. I’m also able to use our principles as a guiding star, giving direction to the rapid growth of Menopause Café. I acquired and honed these skills through my work at Rowan Consultancy.
What are your plans for the future?
I will continue as partner at Rowan Consultancy, helping people lead more satisfying lives, growing our coaching, training, counselling and mediation services to Scottish businesses and individuals.
For Menopause Café, I plan to:
What inspires or motivates you?
My faith and my parents.
They give me a sense of social justice and a “can-do” attitude.
What supports and enables me is my husband, Andy, and my excellent colleagues at Rowan and fellow volunteers at Menopause Café.