Home to The Successful Founder Print & Digital Magazine 
Advice Articles, Interviews, Founder & Brand Spotlights 
Home of The Most Advice-Feature-Rich Entrepreneurship Magazine Around

Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Deborah Garlick

Deborah Garlick is the CEO of Henpicked: Menopause In The Workplace and founder of Henpicked.net. She has been instrumental in driving menopause awareness and support since 2016 with initiatives including the Menopause Friendly Accreditation, advising the BSI and organising the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards. Overseeing training for thousands of organisations, Deborah is a leading voice in menopause advocacy, appearing in media and authoring “Menopause: The Change for the Better.” Passionate and influential, Deborah champions workplace inclusivity and support for menopausal individuals. Through global collaborations and co-founding Menopause Friendly Australia and partnering with MiDOViA in the US, Deborah’s impact is felt worldwide.

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

I’ve never described myself as an entrepreneur although I have founded businesses from my passions. Firstly, Henpicked.net in 2013 as a support community for ‘women who weren’t born yesterday’. The noise about the lack of support around menopause drove the passion in me to help change that, so I launched Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace in 2016 and The Menopause Friendly Accreditation in 2021.

Prior to this, I’ve always worked for large corporates. My first career was in banking as a Branch Manager before heading up a mortgage lending department; my second was as a Communications Director.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

Menopause became an unshakable concern as to why it was so taboo, hidden, embarrassing. I started to write articles, then a book – Menopause: the change for the better, but I wanted to see bigger change, faster. The idea to launch Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace came from my corporate background and belief in employers to do the right thing for their employees. I’m not a doctor or politician or celebrity. The only thing I believed I could make a big change in is menopause awareness, more precisely education and support in the workplace.

How did you achieve awareness?

Passion and persistence. It was well before people started to talk about it. The key was finding trailblazing individuals and employers to partner with, those who would pioneer change and encourage others to join in. And then do it again and again and again.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

I applied for grants and funding but when I started no-one was up for it. So, I lived on my savings for a couple of years and bootstrapped the growth. It was a tough approach, in many ways, but we’ve no debts and a very nimble, lean business model.

What are the key successes?

The landscape around menopause in the workplace has changed dramatically since 2016 when no-one even had a menopause policy. Today, nearly half of employers are taking action. We’ve supported thousands of employers, have 500 Menopause Friendly members working through our programme and are approaching 100 that have achieved The Menopause Friendly Accreditation. I feel honoured to be playing the part we are.

We hold the annual Menopause Friendly Employer Awards, an amazing celebration of the employers who truly deserve recognition. Back in 2016, I couldn’t have imagined 400 people walking a red carpet at a glitzy event and raising £75,000 for menopause charities and research each year.

International growth is now fully underway. A year ago, we opened Menopause Friendly Australia. We now have global teams covering time zones from -11 to +13 hours providing the same standard of support for employers.

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

With every chapter of the journey there are always different challenges. The skill seems to be less about overcoming certain challenges and more about becoming adept at handling them. Keeping your confidence, knowing you’ve overcome challenges before, recognising and defining the new one and overcoming it. I see these as ongoing valuable learnings.

What are your plans now/for the future?

I want everyone to understand what menopause is and those who need support to get it. I want all employers to be menopause friendly and I want the change that we’re making now to stick. If we do this right today, it won’t have to be done again, a legacy for generations to come.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

If you really think being an entrepreneur is for you, do it. I’ve met so many people who were thinking about it, had great ideas but were waiting for the right time and I don’t think there is one. Then they look back and the time has gone.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

  • Do something you love, the hours are tough but if you love what you do it helps stamina.
  • Network. Listen. Learn. Repeat. Wise words and inspiration come from many different sources.
  • Start with the end in mind with clear objectives but accept that the journey is not linear.
  • You don’t have to be an expert at everything. I’m surrounded by team members who are better than me: I recruit on that basis. That fills my gaps and enables us all to achieve more.
  • Keep your eye on money and spend wisely.

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Full stop. A legend for what she did for women and equality.

Taylor Swift.  Brilliant musician and brilliant in business. But more the way she comes back from knocks ever stronger.

Baroness Karren Brady CBE. Leading the way in a male dominated environment, champion for women in business and, of course, because she’s open about her menopause.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill DBE Record breaker in the 2012 Olympic Games for her amazing comeback after having her son and how she shares her story to inspire others.

Evelyn Dickey. Everyday hero. You don’t have to be famous to inspire people. I’m grateful for her ongoing inspiration.

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

‘Real change, enduring change happens one step at a time’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Because it reminds me to keep going and take the next step and then the next step. And when you want to make change to something that is so sensitive, so taboo, it takes time to make lasting changes.

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?  

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/13006501 and https://www.linkedin.com/company/71687043

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MenopauseInTheWorkplace and https://www.facebook.com/MenopauseFriendly