Over 600 employers sign The Menopause Workplace Pledge

Organisations are leading the way and offering menopause support to collleagues

5th Apr 2022

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Leading employers AstraZeneca, BBC, Royal Mail, Co-op, and TSB are the latest organisations among 600 signing the Menopause Workplace Pledge.

The campaign is raising awareness of the menopause as a workplace issue, after estimates show that 1 million women have quit their jobs. Surveys also reveal that many people pass up promotions and reduce their hours due to the menopause.

Wellbeing of Women, in collaboration with Hello! Magazine and Bupa, is calling on every employer to take the Menopause Workplace Pledge to keep women and colleagues in work and help them to flourish at every life stage.

In just six months, hundreds of signatories range from FTSE 100 companies, major supermarkets, banks, and accounting and law firms to schools, hospitals, universities and even London Zoo.

Latest sign-up, Royal Mail, has launched a range of initiatives to further support the 16,500 members of its staff likely to be experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms. This includes new menopause training and an internal campaign to normalise conversations.

Meanwhile, Tesco, the largest private employer in the UK with 300,000 staff, has menopause guidance and training in place, and will change its uniform to incorporate a breathable fabric to help with hot flushes.

In 2019, Co-op introduced a menopause policy to its 60,000 colleagues. It has now launched a dedicated menopause support guide to over 4,500 managers across its food stores, funeral homes, legal services and insurance businesses to better support colleagues.

Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Wellbeing of Women Chair, said:

“Nearly 5 million women aged 50-64 are currently in employment in the UK. They represent the fastest growing demographic in the workplace. 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.

“Employers can play a key and important role in helping women to manage their health and wellbeing at this stage in life. By doing so, organisations can help to ensure a gender-equal working environment, support women to reach their potential and benefit from the enormous expertise and experience that they contribute to the workplace.”

Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, said: “Recognition and support for everyone affected by the menopause is critical so we’re proud to be backing this pledge for our own staff and to help keep this issue front and centre in the public’s consciousness.”

Zareena Brown, Chief People Officer at Royal Mail, said: “At Royal Mail, we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues at all stages of their life. This is really important for us as a business as we have around 16,500 women who are likely to be experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms.

“We are launching a new campaign to get more of our colleagues talking about menopause and have formed a working group with both women and men that has created a comprehensive package of options to ensure we are providing our colleagues with as much support as possible.”

Jeff Pott, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and General Counsel, AstraZeneca, said
: “We are proud to be one of the first leading pharmaceutical companies to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge. The need for open, honest and sensitive conversations around menopause should not be under-estimated and we pride ourselves on looking after our staff across the various life stages.

“When women have support from the workplace to overcome barriers and challenges, they are able to achieve their full potential. As a responsible and inclusive employer, we tackle bias and discrimination, and one way of doing this is to address the stigma around menopause by normalising conversations and offering effective support.”

Helen Webb, Chief People & Services Officer at Co-op, said: “Women make up nearly half the UK workforce and this means a large number of our colleagues will be managing peri-menopause and menopause symptoms at work. Unfortunately, many people still feel uncomfortable talking about this, and as a result, some women may suffer in silence while experiencing symptoms that affect their physical and mental health.

“It’s time to start recognising the menopause as a workplace issue that we all have a role in supporting. At Co-op, we are proud to be supporting our colleagues with policies, training and measures in place and fully back the Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign.”

Wellbeing for Women is calling on more employers to sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge and support their staff going through the menopause. Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

A roundtable event to launch the campaign was co-chaired by Royal Paton The Countess of Wessex who highlighted the “tragic impact” that the menopause can have on women in the workplace. Other supporters include Caroline Nokes and Carolyn Harris MPs, charity Ambassadors Baroness Karren Brady and Carol Vorderman, and Lord Karan Bilimoria, President of the CBI.