A new campaign created by Wellbeing of Women and Hello! Magazine encourages employers to take positive action and support employees going through the menopause.
Businesses including Santander, PwC, Tesco, Bupa and Harper Collins Publishers have signed up to a new campaign created to promote awareness of the menopause and offer support for staff affected by it.
Despite women making up half of the workforce, around one million women have quit their jobs due to the effects of the menopause.
Alternatively, the campaign states that supporting women going through menopause leads to a variety of business benefits including increasing staff retention, reducing recruitment costs, improving productivity, happiness and wellbeing, and ultimately ensuring a more diverse workforce.
The criteria laid out in the Menopause Workplace Pledge states businesses should:
- Recognise that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace and women need support
- Talk openly, positively and respectfully about the menopause
- Actively support and inform your employees affected by the menopause
This follows an inquiry launched by the Government earlier this year, investigating the impact of menopause and how businesses can factor in the needs of employees going through this transition.
The Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee also commented explaining that menopause could potentially become a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
However, now many businesses are choosing to implement their own menopause policies without the need for formal legislation mandating this.
In a roundtable meeting discussing the pledge, the co-host, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Wellbeing of Women Chair, stated:
In the UK, there are nearly 5 million women working aged between 45-60 years. The majority of these women will go through the menopause, which frequently coincides with the peak of their careers, a time when they are at their most successful and productive.
Through supporting women, employers can help to attract and improve retention of staff, ensure an inclusive workforce, increase productivity, maximise employee wellbeing and address the gender pay gap.
Alex Perry, CEO of Bupa Insurance, also maintained that organisations which are “serious about improving gender diversity need to get serious about women’s health”, and discussed the place of male leaders in this discussion:
Too many women are leaving the workforce at the peak of their careers because they do not have the right support through menopause. This terrible loss of talent and the impact on their lives needs tackling urgently.
This is something male business leaders also need to show leadership on and the good news is that taking action is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, especially compared to the consequences of doing nothing.