There has been much attention to the topic of menopause rights in recent months.

However, almost two-thirds (60%) of FTSE 100 companies have failed to publish the menopause-related support they offer, shows INvolve’s new research.

Lack of conversation around menopause support responsible for perpetuating stigma and putting women’s career development at risk, says INvolve.

INvolve’s founder, Suki Sandhu OBE, calls for FTSE 100 companies to step up by implementing and publishing menopause support policies.

While a cross-party group of MPs has urged the Government to mandate employers to provide reasonable adjustments for employees going through menopause, and while menopause-related discrimination in the workplace has been widely reported, as yet no such mandate has materialised. 

 

Why is there so much silence around menopause?

The continued silence around the menopause, coupled with little transparency into the support, if any, that is available, perpetuates the stigma regarding how the menopause may affect them in the workplace.

The lack of support for those going through menopause can lead to disengagement from their work, struggling to fulfil responsibilities, and can lead to some leaving the workplace entirely. 

Given that women generally reach menopause in their early 50s – which can be a key period in their career as they strive for leadership roles – a failure to address their needs effectively puts their career development at risk. 

Countless pledges have been made to recruit women to boards and leadership positions in recent years. If companies are to attract these women, it is increasingly crucial that they openly demonstrate their commitment to active inclusion – including creating, implementing, and publicising policies that will support them as they age.

 

How can change be driven?

This research comes as INvolve releases its annual Heroes Women Role Model Lists, which showcase leaders who are championing women in business and driving change for gender diversity in the workplace. With an incredible 48 countries represented this year, these lists celebrate the global work being done to create equitable workplaces for women.

Leaders on the list have additionally voiced their concerns over the lack of large corporates voicing their support for women and publishing menopause support policies.

On how businesses can support employees going through menopause, Danielle Harmer, Chief People Officer at Aviva and one of the 100 Women Executives Heroes Role Models for 2022, says: “Every organisation can help break the taboo around menopause. It’s not just an issue for women – it impacts everyone.  There are a few simple, practical things all businesses can do. Find role models – not just women – to share stories. Create spaces for people to share experiences and support each other. Partner with an organisation that specialises in menopause support. And finally, educate leaders. What businesses do doesn’t have to cost the earth. The most important thing is open, stigma free, communications and caring, pragmatic support.”

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.