"The menopause is absolutely something we should be talking about."
Liv Garfield is the Chief Executive of Severn Trent. She is also at the beginning of her own menopause journey and has spoken to lots of women about the impact it can have in the workplace.
Liv made a conscious decision to offer menopause workplace training to all Severn Trent staff, launching a menopause workplace policy in 2018.
Here, she shares her story.
I speak to lots of women about the menopause. I know it can really impact on confidence and can make elements of working life so much harder than normal.
As a woman at the beginning of my menopause experience, but also as a chief executive of a large company, I knew it was so important that we educate everyone in the workplace on the impact menopause can have.
I wanted to ensure we made it less of a taboo topic. The last thing we wanted was women to feel alone or that they needed to hide the impact menopause was having on their working life.
‘Half the population will be going through the menopause at some point in their life.’
The menopause is absolutely something that we should be talking about more. Half of the population will be going through it at some point in their life.
We made a conscious decision to offer training to our Severn Trent colleagues – women, men, older and younger alike, so absolutely everyone can learn about the menopause. It’s important that we offer people the chance to understand its impact, how they can spot signs and support others where needed.
‘We launched our menopause policy in 2018. Until then, there really wasn’t anything like this across the utility sector.’
We launched our menopause policy in 2018. We held workshops that put menopause right at the heart of the conversation. We followed up these workshops by launching our menopause guide and training for our teams across the company.
We have specific guides in place to support the needs of women at all stages of the menopause. This allows everyone to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to finding a work pattern to suit them.
‘The last thing we would ever want would be for anyone to feel they can no longer do their job.’
It would be devastating to lose employees going through the menopause simply because there isn’t enough conversation, support and guidance for them.
Since launching, our training has become increasingly popular. We have upskilled managers, team leaders and my senior leadership team. We have also welcomed people from other companies across the country to come and see what we’re doing. This is in the hope that we can continue with supporting the UK in being the front runners on this topic.
‘I am so proud’
I’m so proud of the work Severn Trent has done around menopause awareness.
We are doing all we can to support our employees, but are also passionate about keeping this conversation going. Menopause needs to be less of a taboo and something that’s openly talked about and supported across all workplaces.