Financial services organisation Hargreaves Lansdown has announced the launch of its first menstruation and menopause policy.
The company’s new policy aims to raise awareness and understanding, outline the support available and allow colleagues to openly and comfortably instigate conversations about menstruation and the menopause.
Employees can find out what potential menstruation and menopause symptoms are, while the initiative acknowledges that the subject is personal and unique to the individual, and helps to encourage colleagues to feel comfortable discussing symptoms with their line manager.
The policy also provides information on the responsibilities of colleagues and managers, and establishes support available to employees that includes flexible working adjustments, access to shower facilities and free sanitary products in the offices. Gender neutral language is used throughout.
Alison Wright, gender diversity committee member at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Studies have shown that there is a spike in the number of women aged 45-55 leaving the workplace due to the hidden symptoms of menopause such as reduced confidence and increased anxiety. And at least 80% of women experience period pains every month, so it’s incredibly important that we support and educate, so that people understand the impact on colleagues and ensure that the workplace is a safe space to talk openly.”
She explained that the policy was introduced as part of the company’s commitment to provide an inclusive and supportive working environment for all colleagues.
“We understand that, for a variety of reasons, anyone can be affected by hormonal changes during their lives and that they may require workplace adjustments because of this. However, our new policy focuses specifically on menstruation and the menopause with the aim to raise wider awareness and understanding among all colleagues, and make managers aware of their responsibility to understand how the menopause and menstruation can affect people in their team, and how they can support those experiencing symptoms at work,” Wright added.