The UK government has appointed Helen Tomlinson to be its first menopause employment champion, as part of a call for more employers to develop dedicated menopause policies.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asked Tomlinson, head of talent UK and Ireland at Adecco Group, to take on the voluntary role due to her work hosting a menopause podcast and developing Adecco’s menopause policy in 2021. It has since been adapted for multiple external clients, and includes training for managers and a community of menopause allies.
Working closely with Mims Davies, minister for social mobility, youth and progression, Tomlinson was tasked with driving awareness of issues surrounding the menopause and work, while promoting the benefits of providing dedicate support for businesses and the economy.
She will also focus on encouraging employers to develop menopause policies to create more supportive environments, as well as advising on changes they could make to the workplace, such as offering more regular breaks, a choice of uniform or creating cooler spaces in offices.
Tomlinson said: “I have witnessed the transformational power that opening up conversations on the menopause can have in a workplace. By creating safe spaces by educating management and creating allies across workforces, women can be supported and empowered to manage their symptoms and thrive in work.
“I look forward to working with women and leaders across all sectors of work to address this gap and make a difference for current and future generations.”
Davies added: “Working positively with employers is vital to ensure they can recruit and retain women experiencing menopause and stop women perhaps considering giving up their employment due to the impact.
“I look forward to working closely with Helen, to achieve our goals of driving positive workplace change to help realise the full potential of women, businesses, and the economy by assisting women at any age and career stage to be properly supported and thrive in work.”