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Menopause Awareness Day: Businesses need to create a safe space for conversations around menopause

by uma
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

 

 

– 72% of women in work say they feel unsupported through menopause*
– 8 out of 10 women say their employer hasn’t shared menopause information or trained staff**
– 9 out of 10 women say they feel unable to talk to managers at work about menopause*

Throughout 2022, Impellam Group has been investing in building better menopause support across its 13 global recruitment brands. This change was kicked off by Becky Webber, Operations Recruitment Director of Tate Recruitment, who had been experiencing menopause symptoms that were causing struggles with low confidence, limited self-esteem, and various physical symptoms.

Since sharing her story with colleagues on International Women’s Day, Becky has been supporting Impellam’s Menopause in the Workplace Strategy, as well as the growth of an employee education and support group.

As the UK’s largest recruiter, Impellam Group is sharing what it’s learned on World Menopause Awareness Day so that other workplaces can support colleagues going through the transition.

Becky explains that women can be afraid to speak up due to the stigma around menopause. This leaves many without the support they need at work. With 75% of females set to experience menopause symptoms,*** a number may struggle unnecessarily and even choose to leave their jobs. In fact, one in 10 women who worked during the menopause say they have left a job due to their symptoms.**

Helping colleagues through menopause

Among the changes Impellam has introduced are:

– Creating a psychologically safe space where people feel able to speak up, share their experiences and talk about their struggles

– Providing menopause awareness training for managers so they can identify when someone may be struggling and feel comfortable starting a conversation

– Bringing all colleagues into the conversation and normalising menopause to help create a supportive environment. Involving the people in the change they want to see

– Offering adjustments at work – for example, later start times for those struggling with sleep, and access to fans or windows for those experiencing hot flushes, are small steps to help colleagues feel more comfortable at work

– Raising awareness to help those who may not recognise the connection between their symptoms and the menopause, so they can ask for help sooner.

Commenting on her own experience, Becky explained:

“Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace, and with older populations being encouraged back into work to help alleviate skills challenges, they need to be empowered to speak up. Menopause isn’t just an issue for those experiencing it. Families, managers and business leaders will also feel the impact. We need to normalise the conversation and create a psychologically safe environment for anyone to talk about menopause, personally and professionally.

“Menopause feels like a dirty word – a negative stereotype of old age and the end of your career. But it should be one of the best times of our lives. We’re wise and experienced, and we have so much to offer. We need to feel comfortable, safe and supported, and the difference that proper education and support can make can be life-changing for many.

“For employers, this isn’t just an issue for those aged 45+. Perimenopause symptoms can begin in your 30’s. That’s a huge proportion of the working population who could be struggling and whom employers could lose unless they normalise the conversation around menopause at work.”

* According to not-for-profit healthcare provider Nuffield Health
** https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/menopauseandtheworkplace

*** https://menopauseintheworkplace.co.uk

 

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