Vodafone launches global menopause commitment

Telecoms business Vodafone has launched a range of global initiatives to support staff going through the menopause.

The company’s new ‘Menopause Commitment’ pledges that all employees will be assisted during their experience, with access to training, including a specially designed toolkit to raise awareness of the subject.

The initiative builds on existing policies that enable staff to take leave for sickness and medical treatment, opt for flexible working and access help and care through Vodafone’s employee assistance programme.

Clare Corkish, Vodafone’s HR director, said: “Vodafone is committed to supporting employees through every life stage, and we recognise the significant impact that the menopause can have on women.”

She added: “We hope our new commitment and awareness training will create an environment where women feel encouraged to seek the support they need and are comfortable to talk openly about what they are going through.”

The announcement of the commitment came as the company also published its own research, which found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of women who had experienced menopausal symptoms said it had impacted them at work. Among 18 to 44-year-olds, this figure rose to four in five (79%).

The survey also revealed a third with symptoms hid them, while 50% felt there was stigma around talking about the menopause at work. Two-thirds (64%) thought bosses needed to provide more support for women going through the menopause.

Commenting on the initative, Leanne Wood, chief HR officer at Vodafone, said: “Vodafone’s global commitment on menopause underscores our drive for a more inclusive culture and our desire for women to see Vodafone as the place to be for their career through all stages of their life.”

She added: “With menopause impacting women for a significant period of their working life, it’s important to us that our environment supports and normalises these life stages by openly talking about and supporting menopause in the workplace.”

Vodafone has a stated ambition to be the world’s best employer for women by 2025. Last month it announced 16 weeks’ parental leave for staff or their partners, and in 2017 it launched its ReConnect programme to attract talented women who have been out of the workplace for a number of years.