TSB, AstraZeneca, Tesco and Co-Op are among more than 600 companies to have signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge, part of a campaign by Wellbeing of Women. By signing the pledge, employers have agreed to recognised the menopause as a workplace issue, while actively supporting menopausal women and encouraging open communication around the topic.
Wellbeing of Women has reported that signatories have already taken a number of measures to support the pledge, including updating uniforms, offering menopause-specific healthcare support and running charity events.
Tesco, for example, has announced plans to change it’s uniform to incorporate a breathable fabric to help with hot flushes, a common symptom of menopause, and Royal Mail have launched a number of initiatives and training programmes.
After explaining that the UK employees nearly five million women aged 50-64, representing the fastest-growing demographic, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, chair of Wellbeing of Women said: “For the first time in history, women are likely to be menopausal or post-menopausal for a longer period of time than they were reproductive.”
The charity has warned that around a quarter of women may consider leaving work due to menopausal symptoms, such as sleep problems, low mood and poor concentration. A recent survey also revealed that 72% of workplaces do not have a menopausal policy in place, and only 16% said provided training for line managers.
Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, highlights that it’s important to appreciate that every employer is different, and they therefore need to ensure that they are taking an approach that is right for their workforce. To do so, employers need to listen to employees, while discussing the topic openly.
Deborah says: “To achieve long-term sustainable cultural change, we need to see all employers taking positive action to put the right awareness, education and support in place.”