Let’s Talk About Menopause
Susan Grayson, DE&I Consultant and Founder of Younique Inclusion
My mission is to help employers create inclusive workplaces, encouraging diversity to flourish. And your mission employers, should you wish to accept it, is to stop neglecting menopause. We now have a British standard BS 30416, and it was launched in 2023 and it was dedicated to menstruation, menstrual health, and menopause in the workplace. Have you read the standard employers, HR teams? Does your business meet the standard? Have you checked to see whether you’re going to meet that standard? Why not give menopause the same focus that we give to maternity and parenting?
There’s lots of things on the left there that happens for maternity, but I’m afraid a desk fan, it’s not going to cut it for menopause. So did you know 86% of women that go through menopause actually don’t know that very much about it? So let’s talk about the menopause. Who is affected? What do we need to know? What are the symptoms? Why do we need to talk about menopause in the workplace? And what support can you provide as employers? What word comes to mind when I say the word menopause to you? Is it any of those? How do these words make you feel, depressed maybe? There are positives though, because our periods stop and then we might not need to continue with contraception.
What is menopause? It’s the end of your final period. 12 months after this, you become post-menopausal for the rest of your life. The average age of menopause in the UK is 51, and symptoms can occur over many years. Imagine how that might feel. Menopause is experienced by those assigned female at birth, but many other groups do experience symptoms, transgender, non-binary, gender questioning cancer patients, surgical patients. Everyone experiences menopause differently, and maybe some people do know this, but there is more than 30 symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all, and some people experience all of those symptoms. Imagine how that might feel. Just look at those words. I need to let you into a secret because your employers, your staff, are keeping secrets from you. 3 in 4 women experience these symptoms and one in four experience severe symptoms. Imagine how it might feel to show up to work every single day experiencing all of these symptoms.
But guess what? The law protects us, menopausal women and the others. So do you have a menopause policy? Do you have guidance and support in place? What adjustments do you offer your staff? And we have the Fawcett Society. They carried out research to help us understand the impact of menopause on individuals and in the workplace. And 1 in 10 women have left work due to these symptoms. 8 out of 10 say employers are not sharing information, not training their staff, and don’t have a policy. It’s a huge opportunity to retain and attract talent, providing menopause support well, reduce absenteeism, reduce presenteeism, improve performance, improve engagement, and attract and retain talent. Imagine how great this could be. Create an inclusive culture in five steps, just five. Set up a menopause employee group, introduce training, offer menopause coaching, and support as an employee benefit, set up a menopause support group.
Even better, why not become a menopause friendly employer of choice? Work towards gaining a menopause accreditation by taking action and meeting the required standard. How might that feel? Just imagine that. What are you going to do next as employers and HR professionals? Well, I’m going to tell you, you’re going to educate your senior leaders, managers, and individuals. You’re going to understand that everyone is different. No one size fits all. Be sensitive, supportive. Listen, talk about the menopause. You might be surprised who joins in.
So it’s time to take action. So get your phones out because this is a free tip from me. Take a picture of this slide because it’s a simple checklist for you all to take to your office tomorrow and then get started on your menopause action plans. But don’t put your phones away just yet because I’ve got one more task for you. Open LinkedIn and then follow #YouniqueMenopause. Because by doing that, you’ll be able to follow that and you’ll get lots of free menopause information and support. Whilst you’re doing that, my final ask of you tonight is make your workplace environments inclusive. Get started on your menopause friendly action plans tomorrow. You have the checklist, benefit from improved employee engagement, and become an employer of choice in your industries.
See Susan delivering her presentation at DisruptHR Aberdeen here >>>> https://vimeo.com/876128886
More talks from DisruptHR Aberdeen here >>>> https://hunteradams.co.uk/blog/disrupthr-aberdeen/