Theresa Winters: What benefits do you offer to support employees through the menopause?

We are passionate about supporting the health and wellbeing of our employees going through menopause and our aim is to normalise discussion and support for menopause across our organisation to enable our people to get the support they need when they need it. Menopause is a workplace topic, and everyone should understand its impacts.

Our support is focused across four key areas. Awareness and understanding is the first, as ongoing communication is very important to help our people understand why we are supporting menopause in the workplace, and to share what help is available to individuals and managers.

We share a survey annually to understand the experience of our employees along with bank-wide communications for key calendar events such as International Women’s Day, Mental Health Week and World Menopause Day. We also partner with Henpicked – Menopause in the Workplace to run webinars and awareness sessions throughout the year.

Creating a psychologically safe workplace is the second. Our menopause support is wide ranging because we know, no matter how supportive a culture and managers are, not everyone going through menopause will want to speak to someone in their organisation about it. Our chief executive officer and senior executive leaders sponsor our support for menopause, which helps us to normalise it as a workplace topic.

Additionally, we provide a range of ways that individuals can get support, whether via our online ‘Let’s talk about menopause’ site including our menopause guidelines, symptoms planner and links to external resources, talking to our health and safety team or attending our regular online ‘Pause for Support’ sessions, which are a safe space to discuss lived experience with others.

People manager support is the third; we provide e-learning for our people managers to build their understanding of the menopause, its symptoms and impact on individuals in the workplace. We also run awareness sessions for managers, both bank-wide and also locally in business areas via our team of menopause advocates.

Practical guidance and support is the fourth. Our trained team of advocates across the business are passionate about raising awareness of the condition, running awareness sessions for employees and people managers and signposting individuals to support. We are also proud to have been the first employer in the UK to offer expert clinical support for our employees via our partnership with Peppy in 2020.

Theresa Winters is senior HR manager, employee experience proposition at Santander UK