The CIPD is joining forces with Helen Tomlinson, the UK Government’s first Menopause Employment Champion, to champion ‘menopause friendly’ workplaces.
The professional body for HR and people development will work in collaboration with Helen to reach as many organisations of different sizes and sectors as possible with the message that menopause supportive work cultures are essential to attracting and retaining valuable talent for UK workforces.
Appointed as Menopause Employment Champion by the Department for Work and Pensions in March 2023, Helen’s focus is on helping employers develop policies that empower women experiencing menopause transition to stay and progress in work.
The CIPD launched its Manifesto for Menopause at Work in 2019 in Parliament calling for this role and has been regularly supporting its community of more than 160,000 members with practical guidance, education and support.
New CIPD research highlights the difference that support from employers, line managers and colleagues makes to how people manage the impact of menopause in their working lives. Its survey of more than 2,000 employees experiencing menopause transition found that flexible working is viewed as most helpful when managing menopause symptoms at work (48% of women agreed). Ability to control local temperature (46%) and last minute or unplanned late starts after sleep disturbances (36%) are also seen to be helpful adjustments.
Other measures that helped employees feel supported include:
- A healthy and open workplace culture (38%)
- Working with female colleagues of a similar age/experiencing menopause symptoms (26%)
- Employer awareness raising and training (16%)
- Understanding colleagues (15%)
- Management support (13%)
Additionally, more than two thirds (67%) feel that the move to more home and hybrid working will make dealing with menopause symptoms easier. However, with an estimated 60%* of employees in roles which require them to be in the physical workplace, employers need to consider a range of flexible working options to suit different roles and sectors.
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD said:
“We’re looking forward to working closely with Helen and the DWP team on this important agenda that could transform the support for women in the workplace and raise awareness and shift cultures everywhere.
“We’ve been championing the importance of menopause friendly workplaces for several years and we look forward to amplifying this work. Particularly at a time when skills shortages persist, employers can’t afford to be missing out on valuable talent, and it is vital that women feel supported to progress their careers throughout all stages of their working lives.
“Open and supportive cultures are pivotal in ensuring women can talk about menopause symptoms and get the support they need at work, as well as being able to raise any concerns.
“Flexible working practices can also help those affected by menopause to manage symptoms. There's a variety of flexible working practices organisations can offer for most roles, including flexitime, compressed hours, hybrid working, job-sharing and different forms of part-time working. By outlining the options available in job advertisements, employers are likely to be able to recruit from wider talent pools and in turn create fairer and more inclusive workplaces.”
Helen Tomlinson, Menopause Employment Champion said:
“Menopause is an entirely natural but sometimes difficult period affecting 51% of the population. But this is not a time to step down, step back, or step out of their working life. Women over 50 are the fastest growing demographic in the workplace and when employers provide education, support and allyship, they can go on to have arguably the most productive and fulfilling time in their careers.
“It is important that businesses have access to best practice. This shouldn’t be used as competitive advantage in organisations but as part of their Employee Value Proposition. All women, regardless of employer size, sector, race, or socio-economic demographic should be included in this work.
“I am therefore delighted to be collaborating with CIPD. These latest insights are welcome, and I look forward to working with them to amplify and advocate the great work being done to support women and people experiencing perimenopause or menopause.”
Notes to editors
- The CIPD’s survey was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 2.5 million+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Total sample size was 2,185 women aged 40-60 in employment, controlling for the distribution by age, working status and region. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd May - 5th June 2023. The survey was carried out online. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
- *The latest ONS figures show 40% of people worked from home or hybrid in Jan-Feb 2023, suggesting that for the majority (60%), work takes place in person.
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