Ogilvy boosts menopause support

International advertising and PR agency Ogilvy has significantly enhanced its existing menopause support for employees.

The additions, launched to staff in an internal email on Friday (12 March), sees it assume a much broader health and wellbeing remit through a partnership with Bupa. This enables staff to have private medical assessments and access to consultants if necessary.

Helen Matthews, chief people officer at Ogilvy, said: “We first introduced menopause support in 2019 – which allowed staff to have conversations with managers about working more flexibly, and taking time off if needed. It was my strong belief that as a business we need to understand the issues that women go through, and address how it leads to other issues such as senior level attrition, and the impact this then has on diversity and gender pay gaps.”

She added: “Hand-on-heart, when it was initially launched, it drew the biggest response to any benefit we’ve ever launched. Many women simply said ‘thank-you’. So when we had an opportunity to see how we could enhance it further, we jumped at the chance.”

The new add-on is the product of a partnership with Bupa, where anyone who opts in for the healthcare provider’s cover can now access a number of extra benefits.

Cover includes employees being able to have an annual private assessment (including 12 months of medical menopause support), through to access to doctors trained in dealing with the menopause; follow-up appointments (if needed); and the ability for staff to create an action plan around their needs. If required, they can also access a physical examination, and have possible referral to a consultant, physiotherapist or counsellor.

Matthews said: “Employees can opt in to having Bupa cover after two years’ service, and it’s something we really hope staff will now consider.”

She added: “Taking the cover obviously has tax implications for staff, but it’s not something they’re tied into forever, as they can opt in or opt out annually. So it may well be this is a benefit staff go for the nearer they get to experiencing their own menopausal symptoms.”

According to Matthews, the first aim of the perk isto give staff access to support. After that, she explained it would enabled tangible differences to other metrics to be seen.

“There are 45 different symptoms women can have during the menopause, so from a support point of view, it’s a no brainer,” she said. “But we know that we will see this make a difference to the retention levels of our senior women, and this will follow through to positively impacting our gender pay and diversity metrics.”

Ogilvy CEO Michael Frohlich said: “Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is integral to our purpose and we will continue to drive our holistic D&I strategy to make Ogilvy a place for our people to continue to thrive and belong.” He added: “We will continue look at our policies and make changes and updates that will further support our people.”