Following a survey on LinkedIn, 44% of people asked confirmed that the business they work for does not have a menopause policy.

Is this right ?

“It should be written into their policies but a policy alone won’t bring change, businesses need education to help understand how it affects everyone directly and indirectly. It also needs to be embedded into the culture to raise awareness and guide people to the support that they need Scott Whitney.” (Sarah Cox)

Having a policy would only partly fix the problem. As Sarah Cox states, education is also needed. There are many ways to gain education, my favourite is always learning from people with lived experience and listening to their stories. Sarah spoke at our webinar in late 2023 and is speaking again on 4th May at our Disability Inclusion Networking. Whilst menopause is not a disability, some of the support that women require from peri menopause to post menopause can be similar.

Are your managers comfortable having conversations ?

This is an issue a lot of businesses face. Whilst it’s said people don’t leave businesses but they do leave poor managers, uncomfortable conversations are often where issue begin. This can occur when businesses do not invest the training required in people. Menopause in many businesses is a taboo subject whilst there is an attitude of it won’t affect me or it won’t affect me yet with people to. 4% of people answered the survey regarding if their business has a menopause policy as don’t care – which included both men and women, as well as Managing Directors. Is there any wonder why more women leave employment early ?

“Great leaders don’t need policies to keep staff in work. We are are in the middle of a recruitment crisis. Let’s start having a conversation to see how we can support our incredibly experienced female workforce be for we lose any more! Every woman experiences menopause differently so as a leader we need to address each person differently. Have a conversation and lets not put our head in the sand and hide behind a policy. (John Murcott)

Whilst John doesn’t say policy is not required, he does say a good leader will provide the right support regardless. Likewise a leader who is not comfortable having conversations will likely struggle regardless of whether a policy is in place or not.

A policy does show a companies intent to look after their employees

Do you agree with this statement ?

How many times have we heard businesses say they support people, but do the opposite behind the scenes. Bad news travels faster than good. Just 40% of those who answered the survey know that their business has a menopause policy in place.

“We should be treating people as a whole rather than just one condition, having a policy that covers health conditions should support employees coming forward with any heath condition that impacts on them and their ability to do their job.” (John Mcdonald)

Could menopause be encompassed within a policy that covers other health conditions and disabilities as John says? The principle here is to treat everyone fairly regardless of the situation. My concern with this is that is my version of fair the same as yours? Especially if many are not educated on different subject or know what options are available to them and their employees.

Menopause impacts everyone – not just 50% of the population

Whilst menopause definitely impacts women a lot more than men, it can impact men as well.

Think about the husband who is watching his wife as she shows both physical and mental symptoms. Or the child watching his Mum confused with brain fog.

Menopause impacts everyone differently and one lady stated that if education was better she would still have a career in Law and very likely still be married. However the lack of education with her employer, herself and her husband meant the end of her career. Is this partly to blame for a lack of female leaders in business? It cannot be denied that there is an abundance of talent available. To steal a quote from Lisa Maynard – Atem there are too many boardrooms filled with people who identify as “stale, pale and male”.

Will boardroom lacking diversity make the necessary changes to give more education and greater protection through policy ? Is it down to people managers, HR and those working in Diversity and Inclusion to push back to the board ?

The remaining 12% of people who answered our survey on LinkedIn were unaware whether a policy was in place or not within their business. Those that selected this option were 50% female.

Next steps

Sarah Cox is talking at our next business and lived experience networking event on May 4th. She has lived experience and devotes herself to helping businesses support their staff through menopause. She will be able to provide quick wins, statistics and guide you on what you need to do better.

To join this event, please register using our eventbrite page, Disability Inclusion Networking Tickets, Thu 4 May 2023 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

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