It was World Menopause Day last week, 18 October and it got a lot of media coverage, as you’d expect. The main message was this issue needs to be taken much more seriously and employers need to do more to drive change and improve policies. We’ll look at a tool that might help with that.
The big plus for businesses, here, has been highlighted by MPs and by the HR press. So, crack this and you’ll attract and retain senior female talent because, the evidence shows, there is a direct link between female attrition at the top and the disruption menopause causes to the career path of senior women.
Of course, that is a point many of our clients have long recognised and it’s something we have been working with them to address, with help from Pinsent Masons’ diversity and inclusion consultancy, Brook Graham. To that end, the team has developed what is best described as a ‘menopause product’ which we can now hear more about. D&I specialist Kate Dodd is head of Brook Graham, and she has been involved in the development of the product. Earlier I spoke to Kate to find out more about it:
Kate Dodd: “Yes, so we have created this product and it is absolutely specific to menopause because really there is nothing else like menopause in the workplace, there is nothing that is not a protected characteristic that does have such a detrimental effect, essentially, on 50% or more of a company's population. So, the product essentially is based around law, making sure that a business is legally compliant, it’s based around learning, upskilling, training and also around diversity and inclusion consultancy, so looking at how to analyse what's currently happening in your business and how to then put interventions in place to create lasting change.”
Joe Glavina: “I guess clients would like to know if it’s available now and what it costs.”
Kate Dodd: “Yes, the product is available, we are working with our clients on very many aspects of diversity and inclusion all the time, as you can imagine, including menopause. It’s not an off-the-shelf product. There is always going to be a cost associated with these things, but it is a fixed price, essentially, for the different aspects of what businesses need. So, if a business has a strategy in place great, we would review that from a legal perspective, have a look at other policies and see where menopause touches those policies and ensure that they are legally compliant, but also best practice. From the education side, there is a variety of different types of work that we could do, whether that's through e-learning, although our preference, obviously, is face-to-face, or via Teams in a live setting to allow people to ask questions and to create those learning opportunities, and also one-to-one, or small groups, training around having difficult conversations because it's really hard to talk about menopause and you need to equip managers with the language, and with the skills, in order to have those conversations with individuals. Then on the consultancy side can touch us lots of different things. So, from setting up an employee network group around menopause, to supporting that, through to building a business's understanding of menopause through talking to its employees about what's currently happening, where there are pockets of good practice, highlighting those, where there's issues highlighting those, creating a lasting strategy. Also, one thing that we do which is really popular is women's career development programmes that are specifically aimed at women who are at risk of potentially falling out of the business because of menopause or because of, you know, feeling that they can't juggle everything with things that are going on, as well as the women's career development programmes, one-to-one coaching as well for often very high level women in a business who just need a bit of additional support at a particular time.”
If you would like to know more about the menopause product or, more generally, if you’d like help to raise awareness of menopause and improve support for women in your business, then Kate’s flyer – on screen there – may help you. We have put a link to that in the transcript of this programme.
- Link to Pinsent Masons’ menopause flyer