21st & 22nd October, 2021
Here’s your event schedule
We are so excited that you have decided to join us for this two day festival. We hope you like the interesting mix of topics we’ve put together to help educate and inspire you to embrace your midlife and menopause in your business, life and leadership.
We are running this event via Zoom, as well as broadcasting live into our Facebook Group, which means you will be able to join us live in the Zoom webinar room or watch via Facebook. Either way, you will be able to ask questions through Zoom chat or Facebook comment options and engage in each session.
You can join us for the full two days, pick and choose the sessions that most interest you, or watch the recordings in your own time. Everything is being recorded so you can watch back at a time that suits via our Embrace Hub which will be made available after the event.
The one session that we do recommend you join is our Menopowerful Women’s Circle at lunchtime on Friday 22nd October. This gathering is a ‘live only’ event which we aren’t recording to create a safe sharing space, and it’s for everyone to contribute and join our breakout room discussions.
In the meanwhile, we can’t wait to meet you. Let’s get this festival started!
From your hosts,
Business growth mentor and midlife leadership coach, menopause champion and Ambassador for The Hunger Project.
Qualified Nutritionist, Hormone Expert, founder of Happy Hormones For Life & author of ‘It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones’
Need to get the joining details for the sessions?
Then make sure you’re registered.
Get access to the two day live festival, community and all recordings
Two days of expert interviews and insightful panel discussions to empower your midlife journey - all from the comfort of your own home or office
Go to www.KarenSkidmore.com/embrace to get your ticket today
Day One: Thursday 21st October
9.00am to 9.20am - Opening Ceremony
Join Karen Skidmore & Nicki Williams for the opening of the festival
Karen & Nicki are going to set the stage for the next two days with an overview of what's coming, who to look out for and what sessions you won't want to miss. This first session of the day is going to give you what you need to help you make the most of the conversations, connections and the expert interviews happening throughout the three days.
Plus, there's prizes to be won for those live on the call or watching in the Facebook Group!
9.30am to 10.10am
HRT: debunking the myths
with Dr Leah Austin, GP & Naturopathic Nutritionist
Women should be able to make an informed choice as to whether they wish to take HRT, both in the lead up to and after their menopause and for how long, rather than being told what they are allowed to do. In this incredibly insightful session, Dr Austin will outline what health challenges a woman faces at the menopause and how to manage them. You will hear about the latest science behind HRT; what it is, who is it for, how long you can take it for and why it is not for everyone.
She is going to answer the questions that every women needs to know about HRT:
- Whether all women should take HRT and is HRT safe
- Can HRT really slow down the ageing process
- If you don’t have a uterus, do you need to also take progesterone
- Is there a time limit to when you should stop HRT and when should you start HRT for maximum benefits
About Dr Austin
Dr Leah Austin graduated from Newcastle University upon Tyne in 2007 and completed her GP training in 2014. Since working as a General Practitioner she has gained experience working in the North East, Yorkshire, London, UK and Beijing, China.
Working as General Practitioner within the NHS, she became frustrated with time constraints of 10 minute consultations; the ability to manage patients with longstanding (chronic) health problems and really being able to give patients the individualised assessment and care they deserved. Being of mixed ethnic background with Chinese and English, she became fascinated with eastern medicine and the true impact of nutrition, genetics, herbs, environment and lifestyle. With this and her own health/family concerns, led her to study nutrition and qualify as a Nutritional Therapist in September 2017 at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.
She uses a systems-oriented, 36 degree approach (lifestyle, nutrition, medical, genetic, environmental) to address her clients/patients health concerns to ultimately produce the best plan/programme and protocols.
Dr Leah Austin specialises in supporting chronic health problems, digestive health, hormonal health/bio-dentical hormones, women’s health, weight problems, nutrigenomics and anti-ageing as well as optimising general health and preventative medicine
10.30am to 11.10am
Local Politics: Having the time of your life
with Jackie Wren, Councillor & Personal Trainer
This session will give you the motivation, tools and encouragement you need to make the best of a very special time in our lives. We now have experience and knowledge and through challenges gained valuable life skills. that we can share to make a difference in not just our own lives but in the lives of others.
Jackie is going to be sharing how she got involved in local politics when it became apparent to her that the only way to challenge the status quo was to have our own District Councillor. Five years ago, Jackie stood to be a Councillor in Oxted as a candidate for the Oxted and Limpsfield Residents Group. She went on to win with a massive majority. She is now proud to say that they now have 13 Councillors which makes them the majority party, and now run the Council and have Chairpersons on every committee. Jackie is now the Chairman of the Community Services Committee and voted in Deputy Chairman of the Council.
This was a huge achievement for a Council that has been run by a Conservative administration for 30 years, and this year Jackie stood again to defend her seat and won with 76% of the vote; the highest turn out in Tandridge.
Even though she is coming up to age when most people think about retirement. she is thinking about the future and planning ways that she can encourage other women over 40 to enjoy life, take on challenges and strive to be the best version themselves possible, including encouraging many more women to embrace this exciting time and get involved in local politics.
Starting her career as a British Gymnast, Jackie went to work in the fitness industry in 1990 and became a personal trainer in 1994. She continued to work at the YMCA as a fitness manager and together with some very hard working people, she set up one of the first gyms in the UK that could be used by disabled and able bodied people alike. Following the birth of her daughter, she then concentrated on my career as a personal trainer and in 2009 she started to train Davina McCall and went on to make many fitness DVD’s together Davina for several years. To date her and Davina have sold several million copies around the world and she continues to contribute content for Davina on her Own Your Goals platform.
As Jackie grew older, she became very interested in helping and empowering people of all ages and abilities to become the best possible version of themselves so went on to take further qualifications in stroke and cardiac rehab, rehabilitation following surgery, exercise during chemotherapy and psychology, which enables her to now work with a variety of clients and run a company called Happy 2B Me that helps people physically, emotionally and mentally achieve their life goals.
Along side being Councillor, Chairman of the Community Services Committee and voted in Deputy Chairman of the Council, she is also President of the Oxted British Legion.
11.30am to 12.10pm
Menopause isn’t just about Oestrogen: Meet your Feisty 4 hormones
with Nicki Williams, Happy Hormones For Life
When we hear about menopause, we often hear about symptoms and issues associated with declining levels of oestrogen, and the pros and cons of HRT. The thing is, the symptoms of menopause can be impacted by many other hormones, and if you don’t address these imbalances, you’re not going to feel 100% even if you’re on HRT.
In this session, Nicki would like to introduce you to your Feisty Four hormones! These four hormones can be the difference between sailing through menopause with no symptoms or having a really tough time. Once you know what they are and how to control them, you can get them all working for you, not against you so that you sail through perimenopause and beyond.
After failing to find any medical help for her health issues herself in her early 40’s, Nicki discovered that she could turn things around using diet, lifestyle and natural supplements. She is now an award winning nutritionist, author, speaker and a leading expert in women’s health and hormones. She is the founder of Happy Hormones for Life, helping women of all ages to rebalance their hormones, reclaim their health and feel better than ever.
At Happy Hormones, they use state of the art hormone and other health testing to identify the root cause of symptoms so that they can resolve imbalances for good.
12.30pm to 1.20pm – Panel Discussion
Midlife Fitness: How to exercise, stay strong & lose weight in your 40s & 50s
We are bringing together three heath & fitness professionals to discuss the importance of midlife health education. Many midlife women are either trying to power through their menopausal weight gains, often confused by why they are still gaining weight, or feel so exhausted that they can’t consider regular exercise.
The science has changed since we were taught how to exercise back in the 1980’s & 1990’s; working out to stay skinny and avoiding building muscle. Many women are now resorting to yoga and running to stay fit, but not aware of the need for strength training, pelvic floor conditioning and exercising in flow with your menstrual cycles.
This enlightening discussion will open up your thinking to how you can find the energy to exercise, lose weight and get fit to help prepare your body to stay strong enough as you age.
Women’s health yoga teacher, wellbeing coach
Senior yoga teacher, wellbeing coach and specialist in optimising pelvic floor function. She has taught women’s health yoga and wellbeing in Australia and the UK for 14 years. She is passionate about helping women understand what’s going on with their menopausal bodies and minds, optimising their pelvic floor function and overall wellbeing.
Menopause Fitness and Lifestyle expert
Qualified nurse, running coach and fitness trainer, Sam set up a fitness club, Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers, exclusively for women in Sevenoaks, Kent and in 2014 was voted Coach of the year by UK Athletics for both the South East and the UK. She is now creator and founder of Midlife Makeover, an online community where women can access Menopause Fitness and Lifestyle support and to date has supported thousands of women via an online platform to make simple proven lifestyle changes through her online programme, Move Over Menopause, and Menopause Fitness classes.
Nutritionist, yoga teacher and menstrual health coach
Le’Nise Brothers is a yoga teacher and a registered nutritionist, mBANT, mCHNC, specialising in women’s health, hormones and the menstrual cycle. She is also the host of the Period Story podcast, which aims to break taboos around menstrual health and hormones. Le’Nise has helped hundreds of women improve their menstrual and hormone health through her private practice and group programmes, talks and workshops for the likes of Stylist, Channel 4, Ebay and TikTok and her Instagram page.
1.30pm to 2.10pm
Revolutionising The Menopause – Our collective responsibility
with Heather Jackson, Co-founder of Gen-M
In this insightful session, Heather will discuss her work with GenM and will explore the shocking statistics on the menopause and perimenopause from GenM’s Invisibility Report that underpin their mission. Heather will also explain why the menopause is more than a medical issue, a workplace issue, or a gender issue, but one that affects everybody in society, and will reveal what we can all do to help normalise the conversation around the menopause.
We are going to dive into topics including:
- Why it’s only now that we are starting to see menopause in the headlines and have these conversations about menopause
- What are the biggest things that need to change right now for menopausal and perimenopausal women
- And how brands been been responding to menopause conversations
Heather Jackson is a co-founder of GenM, the menopause partner for brands. Having founded and chaired organisations such as An Inspirational Journey and Believe Corporate Relations, Heather has spent over a decade helping organisations to draw out the best from their talent and enable them to reach their full potential. Alongside co-founder Sam Simister, Heather’s mission at GenM is to unite responsible and forward-thinking brands to better understand the needs of those going through the menopause, use their platforms to normalise the conversation around the topic, and review how their policies, products and services can improve the menopause experience for the 15.5 million menopausal and perimenopausal women in the UK.
3.15pm to 4pm – Panel Discussion
Image, style & body confidence: How to feel comfortable and look stylish as a menopausal woman (even with a muffin top!)
If you have ever opened your wardrobe doors and despaired, then you’ll want to join us for this inspirational discussion with Gail & Helen, two of the UK’s top image consultants. There is nothing wrong with your body or the way you look, except perhaps the way you dress. If you don’t feel fabulous and ‘bouncy’ (Helen’s new favourite word for describing how it feels to be wearing outfits that are spot on for your style), you need to rediscover the types of clothes that love you back.
And yes, it is really possible for everyone. Because as you move you though you life, you evolve as a person and your style needs to keep up with you. When your outfits reflect the brilliant woman you are, you stand tall, say yes to more opportunities and lead a bigger, braver life.
What we will be talking about:
- What clothes &/or fabrics would you recommend when plagued with hot flushes
- Practical tips to implement in your wardrobe to help you navigate menopausal challenges
- What clothes, fabrics, and styles to try when your brain is fuddled and your body no longer seems to belong to you!
- Can you still wear jeans over 50 and should you really feel obliged to dye your grey hair
Master Image Consultant & Personal Brand
Gail helps mid-life, professional women reduce wardrobe overwhelm and confusion. Using her image coaching & styling expertise, she guides her clients to discover how they can use their clothes to reflect and enhance their personal brand – which can be especially challenging during the menopause. Gail has worked in the image industry for 30 years, so understands how the “right” clothes can immediately increase a woman’s confidence & credibility. She has inspired 1,000s of clients through workshops and consultations as well as helping to develop the John Lewis personal shopping service.
Body Confidence & Image Consultant
Helen works with female business owners to help them to see themselves in a new positive light. She helps her clients to create and enjoy their own unique personal style that looks fabulous, but more importantly makes them feel amazing and energised. With a background in advertising sales within glossy magazines, Helen retrained as an Image Consultant when she became a mum. This huge life change left her feeling like she’d lost her way with style and had become invisible. Learning about her true style brought about a life-changing confidence boost which she now elicits with her clients.
Day Two: Friday 22nd October
9.00am to 9.45am
Ebb & Flow: Redefining productivity & how you approach your working week
with Karen Skidmore, Midlife leadership & business coach
Our work and life is designed in 24 hour cycles. And yet 50% of the population don’t work this way. Female hormones typically work around a 28 day cycle (our menstruation cycle), whereas male hormones work around a 24 hour cycle. It’s not that women can’t work to a 24 hour clock, but our linear work culture has programmed us to be consistently productive day in, day out, often striving to do more, in less time, and not taking into account our own body’s natural rhythms and hormone cycles.
It’s really easy to see how high our standards have got based on what we think we ‘should’ be doing during our days. And if we don’t already have enough to contend with, the menopause can hit us like a freight train during our midlife.
If you are finding it hard to keep up with life and work, it doesn’t mean you just need to keep your head down and work harder. Or even give up on your dreams and play small! In this insightful session, you are going to discover:
- how your monthly cycle, hormones and seasons all contribute to your productivity levels throughout the year
- how to have the time and energy for what matters to you
- and achieve more in your professional work than you ever thought possible
A midlife leadership coach and business growth mentor with 25+ years experience, Business Books Awards finalist 2020 & podcaster, Karen helps business owners and leaders achieve their potential, and thrive in the process. She knows that most midlife women are burning out trying to juggle work, life and family. They may look successful on the outside, but inside they are exhausted and frustrated that they can’t do everything they aspire to achieve. Karen’s work is incredibly practical, down-to-earth and insightful, uniquely working with your cycles and inner wisdom.
10.00am to 10.45am
Menopause at Work: Why the Ground Rules have Changed
with Julie Dennis, Menopause at Work Specialist
Menopause is trending. From telecom giants to SMEs, every week seemingly heralds the launch of a new company menopause initiative. Yet nearly a million women have left the workforce due to the impact of menopause.
In this session, we are going to explore what is really going on in the workplace to allow this to happen, discuss whether the rise of celebrity menopause – Davina McCall, Meg Matthews, Louise Minchin – have helped to establish menopause as a mainstream topic in the workplace, and share how you can retain valuable, experience employees by :
• Creating positive behaviours and conversations around menopause at work through 2021 and beyond.
• Ensuring you’re prepared for the outcome of the current government inquiry into the impact of menopause in the workplace.
• Delivering a positive, inclusive learning experience where everyone’s voice is heard and your company is known as a great place to work.
If you’re working in an organisation that hasn’t yet done anything about menopause you can find out what to do to change that today.
Julie Dennis runs one of the UK’s leading menopause consultancies for organisations who want to introduce menopause as an inclusive topic, educate leaders and ensure people working through menopause continue to thrive at work and home.
Prior to entering the world of menopause Julie was employed in a variety of corporate roles spanning executive search, management consultancy and the mining industry.
The powerful combination of her personal experience of menopause and business background means she is ideally placed to meet both the needs of the individual and the demands of the business.
When not talking about menopause you will often find her at the piano or out running!
11.00am to 11.40am
How to Have a Happy Menopause – Smart Nutrition to Help You Flourish in Midlife
with Jackie Lynch, Registered Nutritional Therapist & Author of The Happy Menopause
There are so many ways that the right nutrition can help you to have a healthy and happy menopause, and simple changes to your diet can make a world of difference to you and your symptoms. Join this session for some practical, expert advice to support you through the hormonal transition of the menopause.
If you only do one thing to manage menopause symptoms what should it be? What’s the most common mistake women make with their diet during the menopause? What is the impact of stress on menopause symptoms and how can your diet reduce stress? How can diet help with hot flushes? Any tips for managing anxiety and brain fog?
Award-winning nutritionist and author, Jackie Lynch is the founder of the WellWellWell nutrition clinic where she specialises in women’s health and the menopause. Keen to break the taboo about discussing the menopause, she launched the popular diet & lifestyle podcast The Happy Menopause in 2019, and her new book, The Happy Menopause: Smart Nutrition to Help You Flourish is out now.
Jackie is also the author of Va Va Voom: The 10-Day Energy Diet and The Right Bite: Smart Food Choices for Eating on the Go. Her advice features in a range of national media and she regularly appears as a guest expert on radio and TV, including Channel 4’s Superfoods. Jackie is the Chair of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, the renowned trainer provider for accredited nutritional therapy training in the UK.
Book in for a free 20-minute Nutrition & Health Telephone Assessment. https://www.well-well-well.co.uk/calendar
12noon to 12.15pm
The Hunger Project & Unleashed Women
with Manda Lakhani, Trustee of The Hunger Project
Top-down, aid-driven charity models fail to create lasting change in the lives of those in need. To achieve a sustainable solution to hunger, we need to flip that model on its head, and afford those living in hunger access to the education and tools needed to end hunger for good. One of the most effective ways to achieve this and to end hunger for everyone is to empower women.
The menopause is an important life transition and it’s so important to accept it fully and embrace it as a positive change. Your midlife can be a period of replenishment and reflection and as you grow through it, you can become aware of the opportunity to become a powerful women with leadership possibilities and being change in the world.
This is why we’ve partnered with The Hunger Project and their powerful Unleashed Women movement. Join us for a spotlight session with Manda Lakhani, Board Trustee, to learn more how you can use your creativity, leadership and ideas to raise funds that will empower women, and end hunger once and for all.
With a MBA in Finance, a professional marketing qualification and a background in financial services, Manda is passionate about connecting and advising senior leaders and organisations to help them utilise their resources (time, energy and wealth) to improve the spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing of people and the planet. The activities of organisations and charities that she advises range from ending world hunger to mental health awareness, environmental issues and women’s empowerment. As a leader and mentor, she supports organisations to design and implement humanitarian strategies which contribute to socio-economic wellbeing and world stewardship.
12.30pm to 2pm – Menopowerful Women’s Circle
Our virtual camp fire gathering
This session is for everyone to be seen and be heard and join our breakout room discussions.
We highly recommend that you attend this lunchtime session.
You will be joining through Zoom meeting (rather than our Zoom Webinar room and Facebook Live Stream) and everyone will have the option to switch on their videos and audio links.
We will be having three break room discussions to enable you to co-create, connect and share resources on how we can as a collective power, educate and inspire more women to embrace midlife and menopause.
Although menopause affects individual women, the ripples are felt by everyone; our children, partners, friends, colleagues, clients and anyone we come into contact with. The more everyone knows about the effects of menopause has on women, the more support we can create for ourselves and the women around us, and thus enable us to secure our place in business, leadership and politics into our 50’s, 60’s and beyond.
Please check your delegate pack for the specific Zoom meeting link for this session. And please note that this session won’t be recorded or broadcasted to our Facebook Group to enable us to give you a safe space to share.
2.15pm to 2.50pm
‘It’s all in your head’ – Mental Health and The Menopause
with Danielle Bridge, CEO of Life Support CIC and Mental Health Advocate
The latest statistics from Mind, the mental health charity founded in 1946, tell us that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England , and that 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.
Anxiety and depression is one of many menopausal symptoms that midlife women suffer, but don’t realise how much they are really coping with until it’s too late. And there’s no doubt that the past 18 months has put all of us under significant strain; from managing workload with homeschooling to dealing with isolation, illness and loss. So it was critically important that we had a conversation about the inevitable connection between midlife transition and our mental health, and break down the stigma that often comes with it.
What you will discover during this interview:
- Why do we not talk about Menopause
- Does everybody suffer from mental health challenges during the menopause
- How effective is advice for others from our own lived experience
- What we can we do to look after our mental health at this time
Danielle is the founder/ CEO of ABC Life Support CIC, a First Aid Training organisation delivering physical and mental health first aid training to organisations and individuals across the UK. Danielle is also an Associate Mental Health First Aid England instructor, Wellbeing and Mental Health instructor for British Safety Council and chairs the Cambridge Mental Health Network Danielle has a passion for delivering mental health first aid courses to people It is important to Danielle that she uses her lived experience to help bring individuals together to learn about mental health, mental ill-health and mental illness and in doing so she is able to help break down stigma, decipher the jargon and empower people to take charge of their own journey.
As well as community work, Danielle is able to use her knowledge to be able to start important conversations within the workplace so that the learning goes towards the implementation of person centered systems which support people in the workplace.
3.10pm to 3.45pm
Menopause + ageism + sexism = a fine mess!
with Rachel Lankester, Magnificent Midlife founder and midlife mentor
This session is looking at how attitudes to ageing, and the ageism and sexism we may face, especially at work, can exacerbate our experience of menopause. We are going to explore the wider context for menopause, how we can embrace our older selves and continue to step forward with confidence, not back.
Why do you believe menopause and how we feel about aging are so intertwined? How does ageism show up in the workplace for women? Why is lack of confidence often such an issue around the time of menopause? What can women do to lessen the impact of ageism and sexism on their menopause transition? You’ve been researching menopause experiences in other cultures – what have you found?
Rachel Lankester is the founder of the Magnificent Midlife Movement, celebrating and empowering women 40+. She’s passionate about changing how society perceives women in midlife and beyond, and how we view ourselves. She’s on a mission to disrupt negative ageist and sexist stereotypes about older women, menopause and aging. After an early menopause diagnosis at 41, she scratched her own itch and created what she wasn’t able to find to help her cope: midlife mentoring, an online membership, educational resources and an inspiring podcast to help midlife women refresh, re-energize and recalibrate. Rachel’s midlife reinvention came after a long and successful career in financial communications which took her all over the world, including 3 years working in New York and as communications manager for a FTSE 100 company.
Rachel’s free resources: https://magnificentmidlife.com/resources/
4pm to 4.30pm – Closing Ceremony
Join Karen Skidmore & Nicki Williams for our final session of the week
The perfect way to close our festival; join our hosts, Karen & Nicki, for an open discussion on our biggest take-aways, what surprised us and what sessions are worth listening back to again.
We will be inviting you to share your best bits as well as what intentions you intend to make as a result from what you’ve learnt over the past two days.