We're super happy to have Jill Angelo from the American company genneve blogging with us this month.
Jill left a fantastic and fulfilling job at Microsoft because she wanted to start something brand new - her own company that would not only help women find solutions for a better menopause but also create a fabulous and supportive community of women who could and would cheer each other on.
Cucumber think she's completely aced it. We're thrilled to be available in the US through their website and we know you'll enjoy reading about her journey below.
I get asked a lot why I left a successful career in technology to start up genneve, a women’s health care company. I had a great job at Microsoft, one I really loved, and it was hard to leave the field I’d been in my entire adult life.
But not that hard.
And that told me something. The excitement I felt embarking on this entrepreneurial journey so far outweighed any fear or anxiety I had about leaving my “sure thing” behind, it was clear I’d made the right choice.
I was … confident. And that’s exactly the fuel in my rocket ship: confidence.
Let me explain.
I think women are amazing. We’re strong, we’re smart, we’re creative, we have the endurance ultra-athletes weep for. We are natural innovators and leaders. Confidence should be our birthright – we have plenty to feel confident about!
And yet. Look around you. How many women in your life have the level of confidence they deserve? How many truly know their worth, how talented they are, how smart they are, how capable? Give a woman a compliment she fully deserves, and I’ll bet you 8 out of 10 times, she’ll deflect it rather than accept it. She’ll downplay her achievement, say she was “lucky” or “had help,” or that it “wasn’t that big of a deal.”
Helping women and girls feel as confident as they should is my passion.
Yes, there are many external things that erode our confidence: I didn’t spend 20 years in technology without learning a bit about “bro” culture and how toxic it can be to women. We live in a culture and a time that does not respect women’s true value – in fact, it often fears women’s strength and actively tries to undermine it.
That’s why women and girls need the confidence that comes from within.
From my time as a mentor and Board member at the Seattle Girls’ School and my tenure now as CEO of a company for women in midlife, I can see that there are two times when women’s confidence takes a real hit: puberty and menopause.
There are a lot of similarities between these two major transitions. Our bodies change in unpredictable ways and do “embarrassing” things. Our emotions are all over the map. People respond to us differently, make different assumptions about our capabilities. We are uncomfortable in our own skin, and that makes it hard to demand to be heard.
There are resources to help girls through puberty, but for women transitioning into menopause, there just isn’t much. Doctors are often not well trained to deal with menopause, so they can be dismissive and unhelpful. Women are left trying to self-diagnose with Dr. Internet, unable to figure out what’s going on in their own bodies, much less explain it to their partner, their kids, their boss.
There’s social stigma around women’s natural bodily functions, and around aging, so women over 40 get the double whammy. Add in the uncomfortable symptoms like insomnia, hot flashes, headaches, fatigue, irritability, and weight gain, and women score the Hat Trick from Hell just when their lives should be getting really good.
I started genneve because women in midlife deserve to feel confident. They’ve had careers, raised kids, built homes. Now with a good third of their lives still ahead of them, they’re ready to step into their power and enrich the world with the wisdom and skill they’ve accrued over four or five decades.
genneve is the solution for a better menopause. We help women manage their symptoms through on-demand resources and access to health care professionals. My team and I have built this amazing community of women who are supporting each other, educating each other, and cheering each other on, and it works. Women are finding their balance again, and from that stable platform, they are ready to launch into their third chapter of life.
I was lucky. I grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota, and my parents expected as much from me as they did from my brother. I did the same chores, had the same responsibilities. It never occurred to me that someone might have less faith in me simply because I was a girl. How stupid! I was able to grow up confident, and though my confidence hasn’t always been rock solid (starting a company is hard!), it’s made it possible for me to take risks and push on and stay true to myself.
All women deserve to feel good about themselves, and I think genneve can help make that a reality. A world full of empowered, confident, strong, and sexy women of all ages? I can’t wait to see what happens next
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