Dorset, UK-based housing association Aster Group has been awarded menopause friendly employer accreditation in recognition of its diversity, inclusion and employee wellbeing work.
The association, which has nearly 1,500 members of staff, was given the award by Menopause Friendly, an organisation that helps all businesses introduce the right menopause awareness, education and support for their workforces.
For the past three years, Aster has been running a menopause support programme which includes leader awareness training and talks from authorities in menopause and women’s health. According to the association, it is committed to ongoing training, awareness and guidance helping those experiencing menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, anxiety and insomnia, and supporting staff more effectively.
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Jane Pound, people director at Aster, believes it is “very exciting” to work for an employer that realises that at least half of its workforce is going to experience the menopause. She added that it is important to be open and honest, and to create a community where staff can get help.
Julie Cridland, employee experience lead at Aster, said: “One of the big positive is lots of women who are now connected with the menopause work we’re doing don’t feel on their own anymore. I’ve had feedback from people who didn’t feel like themselves, were thinking of leaving work, wondered what was going on. Knowing they’re working for an employer that recognises that and has support mechanisms in place is so helpful.”
Evelyn Dickey, Menopause Friendly’s independent panel member, explained that she is “delighted” to confirm Aster Group as a menopause friendly employer and that it has created empowering and engaging culture, with menopause now embedded.
“We applaud you for all you’ve done to reach all staff groups across all locations and for ensuring everyone is included. We particularly noted the comprehensive nature of your policies and practices, with their supportive tone and strong education focus, plus notable practices to create a supportive workplace environment,” she told the group.