The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has introduced a menopause hub in a bid to support workers and boost staff retention.
Launched this week, the hub is part of the Association’s Good Veterinary Workplaces programme and offers a range of resources to help staff experiencing the menopause and related symptoms, as well as their partners, colleagues and managers.
The initiative also aims to keep highly-skilled vets within the workforce and includes tailored support for veterinary professionals. They can additionally view regularly updated material, training, information, and signposting to existing content.
As part of the service, BVA members have three months of free access to the Stella app, created with healthcare professionals and clinicians, which provides a personalised plan to help manage symptoms, coaching, resources, progress tracking and a wider community.
BVA junior vice president Anna Judson, said: “We know that menopause is of growing importance to our profession, with female vets now making up more than half the workforce, and we know that issues with managing menopause symptoms prompt a significant number of women to move away from clinical work.
“As part of our Good Veterinary Workplaces campaign we’re committed to supporting all veterinary staff affected by menopause, allowing them to remain in post, and to providing relevant resources to improve employer engagement in this area. We urge all veterinary workplaces to sign the pledge and consider what more they could be doing to support their staff in managing menopause symptoms in the workplace.”
BVA, which recently signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge, is committed to taking positive action to ensure everyone experiencing the menopause feels supported and wants other veterinary organisations to follow suit.
The provision was launched after evidence provided by Bupa to the Women and Equalities parliamentary committee last year indicated that 900,000 female employees may have left work because of menopausal symptoms. With the veterinary profession attracting more women, the hub was introduced to support them and keep their skills within the sector.
New data from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession Spring 2023 survey further revealed that just 14% of vets are aware of their employer’s menopause policy, while nearly half (46%) do not think their company has a policy and 39% do not know if they do. It also discovered that only three in five (59%) of vets would feel confident supporting a colleague affected by the menopause.