World Menopause Day 2022 – Let’s Keep Talking!
This World Menopause Day, Melanie Maughan, Wellbeing Manager at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), shares with us the progress made over the last few years in supporting our colleagues transitioning through menopause and the commitments made going forward. She highlights the importance that menopause is recognised as a fundamental workplace issue and receives the attention it so rightly deserves.
Perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms can last for many years, even decades. These symptoms can include hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia, problems with concentration and memory, fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pains, urinary symptoms, and low mood. We know menopausal symptoms can have a huge and life changing impact not only on a person’s short and long-term wellbeing but also on their personal life and how they perform at work.
Our female colleagues make up nearly 60% of our organisation; also not forgetting our gender diverse colleagues, so it makes perfect sense that we have the right level of support in place for when people need it the most. By creating an inclusive organisation where colleagues are able to talk openly about their experiences of menopause and access the support they need, we can not only attract a diverse workforce, but we can retain our very best talent.
Our journey as an organisation started several years ago when Abi Clark, our Wellbeing and Inclusion Support Advisor, wanted to make sure that our teams could access peer-to-peer support. At this time, menopause was still very much a taboo subject, but Abi introduced a number of initiatives such as a network of trained Menopause Champions, Menopause Cafes (a safe space for colleagues to share their stories) and manager training and guidance that has changed the way we talk about menopause at the NHSBSA.
As a woman that’s yet to go through menopause (and I know it won’t be long), I’m grateful for what we have achieved and the boundaries we’ve pushed because I know when that time arrives, not only will I be able to recognise and understand these changes, more importantly, I’ll know where to go for help.
We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved so far, having signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge; however, we always strive to improve the wellbeing support we offer. This is why I’m thrilled that we’re pushing ourselves even further, having signed up to the Menopause Friendly Workplace Accreditation scheme supported by Henpicked. This stretching programme means that we won’t just stop at what’s already in place, but we’ll continue to improve year on year.
So this World Menopause Day 2022, please take the time to find out a bit more about menopause because you never know when you might need to support yourself or someone through it. It isn’t just a ‘women’s issue’, it affects us all whether we’re a wife, husband, son, daughter, friend, or co-worker, and it’s right we all look out for each other if we’re struggling.