Above: RMBI Care Co. teamed up with Boots to support staff with symptoms of the menopause. Staff at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court in Essex pictured with a skin serum sent by Boots.
RMBI Care Co. and The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ Charity) have been awarded The Menopause Friendly Accreditation. Established by Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, recognises high standards and proven practices that embrace menopause in the workplace.
In order to achieve The Menopause Friendly Accreditation, employers are assessed by an independent panel and must demonstrate evidence of their effectiveness in these six key areas: culture, policies and practices, training, engagement, facilities and evaluation. Both charities are rightly proud of their success in achieving this accreditation. Louise Bateman, Group Human Resources Director, said:
Being supportive and caring is our way of life. Our staff are our biggest asset, so we are always looking at how we can support their health and wellbeing. Approximately 84% of our workforce is female, many of whom are either currently experiencing menopause or will be in future years. We wanted to create a culture where menopause can be openly discussed and not treated as a taboo subject.
This means everyone feeling comfortable in conversations, understanding how they may be affected themselves and the impact menopause may have on their colleagues and families. We want them to be empowered; to feel they can access medical and other support whenever they have a need.
Two areas that have had the most impact in terms of support and engagement, are:
- Having a meaningful Menopause Policy which is supported with Line Manager guidance and training
- Providing wellbeing baskets including leaflets, menstruation products, deodorant, moisturiser/skin products targeted for individuals experiencing the menopause, cooling spray, intimate washes/ wipes and sanitary wipes.
Together they have seen confidence grow among staff to talk openly about menopause and the challenges they are facing while feeling reassured that help and support are in place.
Gaining the Menopause Friendly Accreditation is an important step for both charities, not only to do the right thing by its workforce, but also to be recognised as an employer of choice who looks after its staff and their wellbeing. Louise continued:
Colleagues have told us that they now feel strong enough to respond to health professionals and seek better support. Having menopause as the focal point for our Learning at Work Week undoubtedly increased engagement in the topic. We were also awarded a commendation for our work on menopause from the Campaign for Learning.
Deborah Garlick, CEO and Founder of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, is impressed by the approach that RMBI Care Co. and MCF have taken. She said:
They understood how important it is to start the conversation. That sounds very straightforward, but our experience is that organisations can find this difficult. The charities were also not afraid to ask other organisations for their experience in becoming Menopause Friendly accredited and now they, in turn, can help others. That sharing of experience and ideas is so important.
Their approach and success in gaining accreditation will be of huge benefit to so many women in their organisation,” continues Deborah. “However, I also found their comment on the number of male colleagues who said how much being Menopause Friendly had helped them in managing their female teams and in their personal lives when understanding and giving support to partners, family members and friends so heartening to hear.
[Summary: RMBI Care Co. and MCF achieve the Menopause Friendly Accreditation from Henpicked for their menopause strategy and ongoing activities.]