Supporting Menopause at work
What did you want to achieve?
In 2021, Vodafone initiated a study by independent researchers, surveying over 5,000 women in five different countries to explore the effects of menopause in the workplace. The research revealed that 3 in 5 women experienced symptoms, which affected their work, with 2 in 5 expressing apprehension about its influence on their career advancement. Furthermore, 44% admitted feeling embarrassed to seek assistance in the workplace. As a consequence, Vodafone embarked on a mission to diminish the stigma surrounding menopause in the workplace and provide support to women across different stages of life, enabling them to thrive in their careers.
What did you do?
Vodafone launched a comprehensive menopause toolkit, that encompasses every stage of the menopausal journey, from Perimenopause to Post Menopause, including guidance on Endometriosis and transitioning. This toolkit disseminates practical information through various channels such as definitions, resources and support available within existing policies. It also offers training opportunities like webinars and online learning modules. The toolkit adopts a person-centric approach, delivering insights on menopause, accessing assistance and providing support to colleagues and family members. Moreover, it dedicated guidance on leadership responsibilities, aiming to provide knowledge to facilitate discussions on menopause, reduce stigma and aid managers in cultivating an inclusive workplace.
What are the results so far?
The toolkit has increased awareness and led to a creation of a new employee support group, ‘The Cycles of Life Community’. This platform offers a secure environment for more than 400 employees to interact, exchange advice and initiate discussions to promote understanding. Withing the community, informative podcasts led by healthcare experts have been shared, providing a spectrum of guidance, including recommendations for helpful apps to monitor symptoms.
What have you learned?
Since the launch of the toolkit and support group, there has been a consistent demand for a supportive community for employees experiencing menopause. The toolkit has garnered more than 2,500 downloads and increased open conversations regarding menopausal symptoms and workplace support. The introduction of the menopause awareness learning course has played a pivotal role in enhancing understanding and mitigating stigma. Recognising that each individual’s experience is unique, it is imperative to persist in listening, amplifying awareness and directing individuals towards the support accessible through current policies.