October is Menopause Awareness Month and in recent years the hot topic has climbed the ladder of priorities to hit agendas across an array of businesses and industries.
It is clearly evident that there is a growing movement to support women through the menopause at work with the news recently announced from the CIPD. The CIPD will collaborate with Helen Tomlinson, the UK Government’s first Menopause Employment Champion, to champion ‘menopause friendly’ workplaces, bringing additional backing to the individuals and companies who have lobbied to get the menopause and awareness of its impact in the workplace dynamic on the agenda.
Here at Oculus HR, we provide innovative and flexible HR solutions to SMEs regionally and nationally through our dedicated and holistic approach and have seen a shift in movement, and attitudes change towards the menopause across businesses.
Louise Kennedy, Founder and Managing Director at Oculus HR said:
“We’ve seen an increase from employers requesting advice and guidance around the topic of the menopause in the workplace. Awareness around the menopause needs to be consistent across businesses and we still hear reports that highly experienced and skilled women are leaving jobs due to the lack of support systems in place and given the current skills shortage this is set to have a damaging impact on businesses around the globe.
I was happy to see the recent announcement from the CIPD on a national level, we are definitely moving in the right direction. At times all that can be needed is slight tweaks to existing wellbeing and health and safety policies and procedures to support women go through this natural stage of life.”
“Everyone experiences the menopause differently. Some people notice little impact on their daily life. But, for others, the symptoms can be severe, affecting them both physically and mentally, and can include anxiety, loss of confidence, problems sleeping and ‘brain fog’.
These symptoms can have a negative impact on their performance and attendance at work. It’s important that businesses look for ways to support employees and create an environment in which discussion on the subject is open and honest.”
The menopause usually occurs sometime between 45 and 55 years of age, but it can happen earlier or later. As an award-winning HR Specialist, Speaker and Podcaster, our Founder Louise Kennedy is on a mission to bring key insight to key talking points and trends across the industry. Our popular Real World HR podcast is a great platform for these discussions, and Louise was joined by Menopause Educator Miss Menopause aka Sharon MacArthur to discuss the topic.
Sharon is keen to stress that ‘the menopause is there to be managed, not just to be endured.’ The podcast brought to light some astounding findings and although the menopause effects 100% of women it’s estimated that only 3% of companies have the topic of the menopause incorporated into their people plan.
“Sharon is doing some amazing work in educating businesses around the topic of the menopause, I was thrilled she agreed to join me on the podcast for the down to earth and insightful chat. The menopause has an impact across all industries and at every level.
The main takeaway was to not overthink it and to not reinvent the wheel so to speak. It’s vital that businesses normalise discussing the impact the menopause can have on employees and ensure there are measures in place to support them. This may be around absence, identifying any reasonable adjustments in the workplace, training and general health and safety.”