Broadcaster and journalist Louise Minchin urged menopause-friendly employers to “keep your foot on the pedal, don’t take it off”, as she presented the Menopause Friendly Employer Awards at a ceremony held in London yesterday (14 September).
Hosted by Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace and now in its second year, the event saw Thames Valley Police (TVP) named Menopause Friendly Employer of the Year during the ceremony that celebrated people and companies that have successfully implemented solutions, support and resources to help their employees.
Speaking to Benefits Expert, Minchin said: “What’s really important is that people going through the menopause are able to stay in their jobs because some adjustments are easy to do and make a difference.”
She proposed a number of steps that employers could take to support people affected by the menopause at work, including normalising conversations about it, signposting help, including where to go and who to talk to, and remembering that it’s not a case of one-size-fits-all, since people’s experiences vary.
Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, said: “This day is about recognising and celebrating the inspirational organisations and what they’ve done.
“When we started seven years ago you couldn’t find an organisation with a menopause policy. Cultural change takes time and that is significant progress in such a short period of time. It’s simply awesome.
“It’s important that every employer gets started on their journey to become a menopause friendly employer because the difference it makes is absolutely palpable in organisations.”
She explained that menopausal women are the fastest growing workforce demographic and employers that are having difficulty recruiting should keep in mind that being menopause friendly can help them attract and retain staff.
Highlighting that one in four women consider leaving work when going through the menopause, Garlick believes offering the right support would enable them to stay and thrive in an organisation.
She added: “Being menopause friendly saves you money. From an HR point of view it’s an absolute financial win-win.”
Detective superintendent Kelly Gardner, force lead for domestic abuse and stalking, and strategic lead for menopause at TVP, agreed that offering menopause support is a positive step for any employer to take.
She said: “As a force, this award proudly reinforces our standing as a flagship Menopause Friendly Employer.
“At TVP, women currently make up an impressive 48% of our workforce, and we’re proud to say that 38% of our police officers are women. Reflecting on the journey we’ve embarked on, it is impressive to see what has been achieved in just two short years. The shift in dismantling the menopause taboo has been nothing short of extraordinary, filling us with hope that it will continue to flourish, inspiring and supporting generations to come. We value our people and this award is another shining example of that in action.”
The 11 winners of the 2023 awards also included Marine Management Organisation, which won Small Menopause Friendly Employer of the Year, and Joined Up Care Derbyshire, which was named Most Inclusive Menopause Friendly Employer.
Caroline Nokes MP, chair of the Women and Equalities Committee who also attended the event, told Benefits Expert: “The great need to be spreading the word of the work that they’re doing. We need to bring everyone along on this journey.
“It’s crucial that employers that have already embraced this find a friend. They should ask their suppliers, competitors, businesses they support what they are doing for their female employees. It’s about societal change and beating down the taboo.”