22 June 2022
We reported in October 2021 on a Government inquiry into the menopause and the workplace, which had been launched in advance of World Menopause Day 2021 (see Supportive workplaces needed to help menopausal women).
In this context, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) was urging employers to develop more inclusive and supportive workplace cultures and managerial styles.
In March this year, the Mayor of London marked International Women’s Day by unveiling what he described as a world-leading menopause policy which will put in place practical steps to better support women and all colleagues going through menopause transition at City Hall (see London Mayor introduces practical menopause policy).
It has highlighted that women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, but around 900,000 have left their jobs because of the menopause.
The campaign received a significant boost this month when the Civil Service signed the Pledge and committed to recognising the impact of menopause and actively support women who are affected.
In total, 262,670 women work in the Civil Service, making up more than half (54%) of the organisation. The median age of civil servants is 45 years and this is often when women will be going through the perimenopause or menopause, the campaigning groups points out.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “This pledge will ensure women working across the civil service feel supported. I encourage other businesses to do the same – big companies, such as Asda and Thames Water, are already joining us with this pledge to make sure their workplaces have menopause strategies in place.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has become the latest employer to sign the Pledge after its research found that 64% of small businesses employ at least one woman aged 50 or over. FSB hopes that more small businesses will sign the pledge to help retain this talent.
Its chief executive, Julie Lilley, said: “Employers and the economy are missing out on huge numbers of exceptionally talented women - and I want to do all I can to make sure that FSB isn’t going to miss out on that amazing pool of talent.”