Employee wellbeing and performance experts GoodShape have launched their menopause policy for employees, coinciding with Menopause Awareness Month and their registration to the Menopause Workplace Pledge.
The menopause is experienced primarily by women between the ages of 45-55, though some women can experience it earlier than this due to ‘premature menopause’ or surgery. It is also important to note that trans men and non-binary people may also experience menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms can manifest both physically and psychologically, and may have a huge effect on a person’s comfort and performance when working. Severity of symptoms is different for everyone, and for a quarter of sufferers, they are severely debilitating. So impactful are the symptoms that 43% of people have considered giving up work due to menopausal symptoms, with 97% saying there should be menopause training for management/HR and a workplace policy in place. (Menopause Hub: Employee Survey Oct ‘21)
We believe in creating an inclusive and supportive working environment for all. The policy is designed to ensure people suffering with menopausal or perimenopausal symptoms can feel empowered to ask for adjustments to ease such symptoms without embarrassment, can carry out their daily role in a safe working environment whether at home or in the office, and can have open discussions with their colleagues and managers so that they feel part of an inclusive work culture.
Initiatives outlined in the policy include but are not limited to:
Desk fans provided where needed (office or home)
Occupational Health assessments offered (office or home)
Flexible working measures offered (either as part of GoodShape’s wider flexible working policy or as a temporary, informal measure)
Paid or unpaid sick leave for up to 7 days without a doctor’s note as part of GoodShape’s ‘Get Well Soon’ policy
Medical support where needed
Within the policy, GoodShape has also outlined a list of responsibilities for colleagues, managers and the People team to ensure everyone is comfortable talking about the menopause and people are given the right support across the business. Universal responsibilities include taking part in training, educating yourselves on the symptoms and support available, and being honest and open.
In addition, GoodShape have implemented a monthly menopause support group, led by internal ambassador and Head of Clinical Strategy Suzanne Marshall. Suze says,
“Menopausal women are the fastest growing demographic in the workforce, so it's important now more than ever to be able to speak openly about menopause at work. We should be able to discuss our symptoms and feelings with leaders and colleagues so that the appropriate support can be offered. The reason I wanted to be the menopause ambassador for GoodShape is because as a healthcare professional I have good awareness of the issues and I have evidence-based health advice I can offer. In addition, I am going through the menopause myself and I personally understand the challenges in the workplace.”
Our Chief People Officer, Dorothy Day, also spoke on why this policy is important for GoodShape:
“Despite 43% of businesses reporting that employees have faced difficulties because of the menopause, only 25% of businesses have a menopause policy in place (CIPD, 2021). Let’s face it, it’s been a taboo subject for too long, and it’s astounding just how many women, non-binary people, and transgender males feel unable to speak out about their symptoms and ask for support for fear of being judged, or worse still, written off. Well, that’s not what we’re about at GoodShape. We’re putting our values of People First and Push for Better into action, and have proudly signed up to the Workplace Menopause Pledge to show our commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for anyone who may be experiencing menopausal symptoms, including those who live or work with someone who is suffering.”
Menopause Matters provides information about the menopause, menopausal symptoms, and treatment options.
Daisy Network provides support for women experiencing premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Menopause Cafe provides information about events where people can gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss the menopause.
Henpicked is an online community that gives women a place to have their say, promote healthy debate and bring about positive change. They also provide ‘lunch and learn’ videos with industry wide experts that can be accessed via this website.
MegsMenopause is an ‘honest and frank’ look at all things menopause.