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Let’s talk about the menopause

10 October 2019

Janet Arthur

Network Homes is an organisation which embraces its commitment to our employee wellbeing and fosters a culture at work that is open, welcoming and inclusive for all our colleagues. We want our people to be able to come to work, feel they are part of the bigger picture and able to perform their roles to their fullest abilities.

Janet Arthur, Director of Human Resources at Network Homes

As part of our commitment to our inclusion and wellbeing, we launched an awareness campaign around menopause to try and tackle the taboos around this subject and create a support system for a transition every woman will face at some point in their lives.

Statistics indicate most women experience the menopause between the age of 45 and 55 but some experience symptoms earlier. Most women will transition through menopause during their working lives.

For some it has very little impact. But for others, it can be debilitating and have a serious impact on their wellbeing and ability to do their job. It could impact both physical and mental health and this should not be overlooked.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has shown:

  • Six out of ten women report experiencing menopause as having a negative impact on their work
  • Some women report being worried about negative judgements being made about their capability at work
  • One in four menopausal women say they don’t get the support they need from their manager.

The way employers handle the menopause has started to move up the political agenda. At the Labour Party’s Annual Conference this week, there have been pledges to introduce more menopause friendly measures.

At Network Homes we’re actively making positive changes to accommodate those affected by the menopause. We launched menopause group discussions over the summer, designed to create a forum for our staff experiencing symptoms of menopause learn coping strategies.

We’ve also delivered a managers and HR training session, designed at upskilling and enabling managers to better support their teams.

We have menopause factsheets available for employees and we have an employee assistance programme which provides staff with unlimited access to a 24-hour phoneline. This offers support, discussion and counselling with professionally qualified experts for various areas, including mental health, nutrition and lifestyle guidance.

We recognise every individual may have a different experience during their menopause transition, which is why we encourage adopting different approaches. Some of this support may include:

  • Flexible working arrangements where appropriate.
  • Quiet workplace rest areas so women in transition can relax when required.
  • Looking at access to fans, good ventilation including windows which open, and blinds that can be drawn to allow women cope better with hot flushes.

Our menopause campaign is part of our wider equality, diversity and wellbeing focus at Network Homes. We’re excited to continue to create a great place to work for all our people.

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