Dr. LaKeischa McMillan is an Integrative Gynecologist and Hormone Specialist with more than 20 years of experience advising women (and for the past few years, men) on their hormonal health.
Omisade Burney-Scott is doing her part to make menopause conversations more inclusive by exploring of the full spectrum of reproductive justice that includes menopause for Black women, Black femmes, and nonbinary people.
Denise Pines is a woman that has always had a lot going on. She’s at her best when she’s putting her ideas into action, and let’s just say, she’s got no shortage of ideas...
Gloria Smythe is the Menopause Stylist. She helps women navigate menopause with flair and style, especially as their bodies go through changes they never expected.
Evelyn Femi-Paul is the founder of Menopause Diva Support Network, an online community providing verified menopause-related information, counseling, coaching, and support to over 2,500 women (and growing) worldwide.
One of the things I've found most disappointing about my menopause journey, is the lack of racial, cultural and ethnic diversity represented in the space. Whether individual stories, the perspectives of medical and health care professionals, influencer insights or tools and resources designed to support communities of difference -- the diversity of the global population experiencing menopause transition is shamefully underrepresented.
Case in point, I follow a lot of menopause makers on social media...I mean a lot. Most of them are well-intentioned white women doing commendable work to educate other women and help them through what is a difficult time for many. Recently, I came across a post by one of the aforementioned makers who was promoting her participation in a free 21-day virtual series on women's hormonal health. Alas, of the 24 experts (all women) pictured in the promotional post, not one was a woman of color...NOT ONE. To be fair, there were two with Spanish surnames, but their ethnicity was ambiguous. Visually, I was struck by a sea of white faces promoting a free 21-day event on women's health, that did not feature any brown faces.
Now, I don't know the backstory there, but I find it impossible to believe that a more diverse panel of professionals and experts in the menopause space could not have been tapped to participate in this 21-day event. Did the event sponsors make the effort? Was this yet, another blatant microaggression against people of color or an ignorant foible fueled by implicit bias...or both? Whatever the case, there's no time for mulling...the fight for representation continues.
That's why I'm excited to share what I'm calling the "Shades of Menopause" series, through which I plan to feature the stories and amplify the work of different "menopause makers" of color. Why? Because half the global population will experience menopause transition, and if we hope to move the space forward in way that supports all women, REPRESENTATION MATTERS.