We have worked very hard this year, providing information and engaging with our staff on the facts around the menopause and understanding people’s experience of it. It has been over a year since our Menopause Protocol was introduced to the company, so we’re looking back to showcase the work we’ve done to support our teams.
The Menopause physically affects 51% of the population and everyone will know someone who has, is, or will go through the menopause, whether that be family, friends or work colleagues. Despite this, the menopause is still considered a taboo topic in the workplace.
We have worked with Sharon MacArthur, also known as Miss Menopause, to deliver five menopause awareness workshops over the course of the year both in person and online. We have advertised and offered these workshops across the whole company, making sure to highlight the importance of learning about the menopause whether you are going to go through it yourself or not! These workshops have had great feedback, and those who attended found the information incredibly eye-opening and often empowering. Empowering staff to speak up about their experiences and ask for what they need to support them in the workplace is key to supporting wellbeing.
As a result of the Miss Menopause workshops, one office even decided to band together to provide sanitary items in their office bathrooms. Generally, menstruation cycles can be irregular, and during peri-menopause and menopause these cycles go through immense upheavals and changes. Having any emergency sanitary station in the bathroom is a great way to support colleagues and reduce anxiety. The items are being funded and supplied by the office staff themselves.
As well as our own organisation of menopause workshop sessions, we have also shared with staff workshops organised by CNTW, our shareholder, on various aspects of the menopause. The latest of which involves looking at how the menopause can affect your pension.
Part of what we seek to do as an employer, laid out in the menopause protocol, advises that we will educate and inform managers on the menopause and the affect it can have on our employees. As well as the information shared in team briefs, company emails, social media and the awareness workshops, we have also invited a staff member affected by the menopause to a recent Managers’ Forum to share her personal journey with the menopause and how it affected her work and what her manager did to support her. We were very lucky to have someone confident and happy to speak about her experiences as it brought to life the impact and severity of the menopause on the body and the mind.
We will continue to work on supporting our employees going through the menopause, as the majority of our staff are women, this a priority issue in our wellbeing commitment and part of our determination to be a great and inclusive employer.