Embrace equity - International women's Day, Menopause Friendly

International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023 has #EmbraceEquity as its focal point. And what a great one that is! Workplaces have made great strides in recent years to reach a place where diversity and inclusion within an organisation’s workforce are really beginning to make their mark. Yet equity is the true yardstick by which we are able to judge how far workplaces and, indeed, wider society have travelled.

To embrace equity, we must challenge stereotypes, call out discrimination and draw attention to bias (both intentional and unintentional). Only then can we really say we have inclusion. Equity means creating a fair and equal workplace within a fair and equal world. The latter seems so far away, but by striving to get that true feeling of belonging within our workforce we take a significant step to seeing it replicated elsewhere. Belonging means that every person is welcomed, accepted and celebrated for who they are and what they can bring to the table. Vitally important for an individual’s mental wellbeing and sense of self, it’s also highly valuable to workplaces whose colleagues can be their best selves at work.

Menopause will affect different people in different ways with a diverse range of symptoms, intensity and duration. Being menopause friendly is not a box for organisations to tick by having a generic policy or someone with a title but no ability to affect meaningful support. What works for one person may not work for another – and organisations need to understand this and respond to it.  

Menopause is for everyone to understand, whether it is someone experiencing it directly or someone supporting their partner, friend or colleague. All of these scenarios will affect how a person experiences life within and outside the workplace. By listening and acting, employers can ensure the individual affected is supported. A menopause friendly workplace encourages a happier, more secure workforce where people feel valued for who they are and what they bring. 

Steps to #EmbraceEquity at work

International Women’s Day on March 8th is important for raising awareness and stimulating action. If this year’s event has sparked your interest to be menopause friendly, here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Create a safe space where it is easy to talk about menopause. Not everyone finds it easy to talk about menopause and personal experience, preferences, philosophies and cultural differences can make it even harder.
  • Train people up – whether that’s for the role they play in your organisation, such as line managers, or even having menopause champions in your workplace – to build your colleagues’ confidence to talk about the menopause and understand how they can help someone. 
  • Encourage everyone to speak about menopause. Menopause can affect us all – some first-hand and others through their relationships. There’s so much interest from those who partners and children of those experiencing menopause and they want to find out more – typically to try to better understand and support.
  • Stay alert to ongoing changes. Your organisation’s menopause policy must be shaped by the people who talk to you, what you already have in place or the type of organisation you are.  Involve people in your workplace, ask what’s getting in the way of them being their best at work, or what would help. Demonstrate you’re listening and keep the conversation going.  

Menopause Friendly Employer Resources

The Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace team, who support The Menopause Friendly Accreditation members, have trained thousands of people in hundreds of organisations (from very large multinationals to very small independent businesses) and offer: support, guidance, workshops, webinars, conferences, work packs, policy steps and menopause champion training.

So how menopause friendly is your workplace?



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