Almost two thirds of women who have had menopause symptoms said this impacted them at work and that more workplace support is needed, according to new research by Opinium.
In light of this, Vodafone said it is making a global commitment to support its employees during the menopause, as part of the company’s broader strategy of “supporting all employees through every life stage to create a culture of inclusion”.
Based on a survey of 5,012 people who had experienced menopause while at work, Opinium research, published by Vodafone, found that 33% of those who had symptoms said they hid this at work, while 50% felt there is stigma around talking about the menopause.
Some 43% of women in the UK who experienced menopause symptoms said they have felt too embarrassed to ask for support in the workplace, rising to 63% of women aged 18-44 in the UK.
In addition, 64% of women in the UK agree there should be more workplace support for women going through menopause.
Vodafone estimates that around 15% of Vodafone’s 100,000 employees will be experiencing the menopause at the moment. To ensure its employees feel comfortable seeking support, it said its global commitment will introduce support and assistance as well as training and awareness.
This will involve rolling out a training and awareness programme to all employees globally, including a toolkit focused on raising understanding of the menopause and providing guidance on how to support employees, colleagues and family members.
This is in addition to existing policies enabling employees to take leave for sickness and medical treatment, and opt for flexible working and access support and care through its Employee Assistance programme.
lare Corkish, HR director, Vodafone UK, said: “Vodafone is committed to supporting employees through every life stage. We recognise the significant impact that the menopause can have on women and understand how important it is that they feel fully supported in the workplace.
“We hope our new commitment and awareness training will create an environment where women feel encouraged to seek the support they need and are comfortable to talk openly about what they are going through.”
Leanne Wood, chief human resources officer, Vodafone, said: “Vodafone’s global commitment on menopause underscores our drive for a more inclusive culture and our desire for women to see Vodafone as the place to be for their career through all stages of their life.
“With menopause impacting women for a significant period of their working life, it’s important to us that our environment supports and normalises these life stages by openly talking about and supporting menopause in the workplace.”