RSA Insurance, owner of the More Than brand, has committed to becoming an accredited ‘menopause friendly’ employer.
The move means the company, which employs more than 5,000 people, will work visibly to support menopause in the workplace and to create an environment where it can be talked about easily. It has also pledged to put support in place for employees going through menopause.
Accreditation is awarded by the Menopause Friendly organisation, with employers vetted by an independent panel and expert team from training body Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace.
Helen Symonds, HR advice leader at RSA, said the company hoped to become fully accredited by September 2022.
“We’ve got a team of advocates together and we’re now looking at getting some champions on across the UK sites and within the business teams and we’re looking at training for that so we can really progress what we do,” she explained.
In terms of motivations for the move, the company has pointed to government research from 2017, Menopause transition: effects on women’s economic participation, suggesting that menopausal women are now the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace.
Yet, at the same time, RSA also highlighted a study published over the summer by online women’s community The Latte Lounge and employee reproductive health benefits provider Fertifa that argued 42% of those going through either perimenopause or menopause had considered leaving their job.
According to Symonds, awareness and education for leaders is key, with male leaders in particular often keen to improve their skills and knowledge in this area.
She said: “We want people to feel they can come and join RSA because we are a menopause-friendly organisation; we want to attract that talent and we don’t want people within that age group to think this isn’t the organisation for them.”
The company will also now log absence because of symptoms associated with menopause separately to general absence. It intends to run masterclasses and workshops as well as set up advice hubs and portals for employees experiencing menopause.
“We are going to be proactively helping people with their symptoms and offering practical support. It will be a real culture shift,” Symonds added.
Research published by digital health and wellness platform Peppy to coincide with World Menopause Day last week (18 October) suggested more than half of UK businesses (54%) still do not currently have any dedicated menopause support in place within their organisation.