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  • Author or Editor: Jo Brewis x
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This chapter is based on survey and interview data from two UK empirical projects. It focuses on the fact that shared space at work often leads to conflicts around temperature and ventilation between menopausal people experiencing hot flushes and their colleagues. The chapter uses Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos’ concept of spatial justice to analyse the data, which is based on his notion that this justice is rooted in ‘the conflict between bodies that are moved by a desire to occupy the same space at the same time … the emergence of a negotiation between bodies’ (2015, p 3). This is not, typically, a conflict between equals, and often leads to the sedimentation of existing patterns of inequity, in the workplace as elsewhere.

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Theorizing Transitions, Responsibilities and Interventions
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The symptoms of menopause transitions have profound implications for work and are, in turn, affected by work. Despite this, the topic is rarely discussed in management and organization studies.

Providing an overview of existing knowledge in the field of menopause in the workplace, this collection re-theorises the management of human resources as it relates to the connections between gender, age and the body in the workplace environment with an intersectional analysis.

Offering theoretical frameworks from experts as well as possible practical approaches that can be implemented in workplaces to support women transitioning through menopause, this is a go-to reference for academics and policy makers working in the field.

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In this short editorial conclusion, we draw out the key messages offered throughout the volume’s chapters, highlighting areas where these chapters complement each other and/or make contributions to the knowledge base on menopause transitions and the workplace. This foundation is then used to re-assess areas that require further development, or which have opened up as new research areas given the now expanded knowledge base. This culminates in a clear research agenda to follow going forwards as we hope to see menopause transitions in the workplace becoming a more established research field. Our edited volume has brought together chapters covering menopause as a biopsychosocial process; transitions within workplaces; flexible working; trade unions, the spatial context of work; and male allyship in organizations. With this breadth of subject matter, we have made clear contributions and advanced knowledge on menopause in the following, important ways. First, the chapters have helped counter the still predominantly biomedical discourse around menopause and have furthered the discussions around a biopsychosocial approach. Karen Throsby and Celia Roberts do this most prominently in Chapter 2, and set the tone for the whole volume thereby. As their analysis makes clear, although the provision of HRT is an important subject and the focus on the availability of such medication in UK parliamentary activities is welcome (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, 2022; Women and Equalities Committee, 2022), there is a need for an extension of support for menopausal women to consider social and cultural factors. We also need, as Karen and Celia establish, to open up the conversation around menopause to include those who are often excluded – LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, people who do not have children and those who go through premature menopause – in workplaces and elsewhere.

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In focusing on menopausal women in the labour market and specific workplaces, this edited volume aims to re-theorize the management of people as it relates to the connections between gender, age and the body in organizations. The ‘bodily turn’ in management and organization studies is now nearing the end of its fourth decade (see, for early examples of this research, Burrell, 1984; Hearn et al, 1989; Acker, 1990; Brewis and Grey, 1994), and work which critically unpicks diversity initiatives dates back at least to the early 2000s (for example Kersten, 2000; Lorbiecki and Jack, 2000; Dick and Cassell, 2002). Despite this, the menopause is still rarely discussed in management and organization studies, the sociology of work and employment literature or HRM research. In this introduction, we outline exactly why menopause is a workplace issue as well as reviewing both contemporary UK organizational practice and recent academic research in this space. The introduction concludes with an overview of the volume chapter by chapter.

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