Developer Tackles The Hot Topic Of Menopause In The Workplace
31 Jan 2022

When it comes to workplace conversations to shy away from, the menopause is likely to be high on the list.

For many, chats about hot flushes, sleep deprivation and anxiety attacks - some of the symptoms associated with the condition - are difficult and embarrassing, making menopause a sensitive subject between employer and staff.

However, with research warning that an estimated one million women could quit their job due to a lack of menopause support, businesses are being urged to create a more open culture when it comes to discussing the one-time taboo topic.

Figures suggest that at least 5.87 million women of menopausal or premenopausal age are currently working in the UK, with the results of a recent survey suggesting 18 per cent were looking to leave as a result of their symptoms.

Among those tackling the topic is Vistry Group (which includes Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Vistry Partnerships). The developer has spent the past few months firming up a policy that offers support to any member of staff experiencing menopausal symptoms.

With input from staff and line managers, the company says it is committed to supporting employees, giving them easy access to a guide that has been developed in-house to support staff before, during and after the menopause.

The guide includes information on recognising the symptoms, where to seek professional advice, how as an employer Vistry can support individual employees and what steps can be taken to ensure wellbeing in the workplace.

In addition, there are tips and options on how making some adjustments to the working environment can help alleviate symptoms, as well as outlining Vistry’s agile/ flexible working opportunities and arrangements for staff.

As part of its awareness raising, the company also invited a health professional to lead a ‘time to talk’ interactive virtual session for all staff at the end of last year.

Vistry Yorkshire marketing manager and member of the Women’s Network, Megan Marshall said: “We realise that for many, the subject of the menopause is a sensitive and very personal one. However, we do not want any of our colleagues to ‘suffer in silence’ when as a company we have developed an inclusive policy which is widely accessible and offers support to whoever and wherever it is needed within our business.

“With so much debate and conversation around this issue helping to break any taboo, we are committed to supporting and listening to our staff ?" and offering practical solutions and emotional support where we can.”

Meg added: “The Women's Network is a place where people can share experiences, support one another and promote the profile of women in construction. There are some great people across Vistry who have done some amazing things. The Women’s Network is a place for colleagues to build relationships with others who may not ordinarily work together.”

A pre-pandemic poll conducted by Research Without Barriers, also looked at the reasons women with menopausal symptoms were looking to leave their jobs.

The most common reason was the pressures put on them (42 per cent); followed by a failure to receive the flexible working they need to manage their symptoms (39 per cent) and a lack of understanding from management of what they are experiencing (39 per cent).

The research also found that seven in 10 women who took time off because of their symptoms did not tell their employer the real reason why, while nearly three-quarters of women experiencing menopause said they did not feel able to talk openly about their symptoms with colleagues.


Research Kuro Kids & Research Without Barriers

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