The Abbeyfield Society has officially achieved accreditation as a menopause friendly employer. The process involved a very detailed submission to an external assessment panel, from which the charity received extremely positive feedback.
The panel was appointed by Henpicked, which champions the accreditation through its Menopause in the Workplace campaign.
Panel member Suzanne Banks CBE said,
“We are delighted to see The Abbeyfield Society achieve Menopause Friendly Accreditation. Theirs was a really excellent application. They set clear objectives to create a culture where menopause is easy to talk about and support is available to anyone who needs it.
“They have demonstrated excellent menopause awareness campaigns and involved everyone in the conversation, supported by excellent training and support. Well done to everyone involved.”
Abbeyfield set up a cross-functional menopause taskforce and put a number of initiatives in place to demonstrate its commitment to being menopause friendly. These included creating a menopause policy and a dedicated section on the company intranet with a host of resources to tap into. It also ran online quizzes in all staff meetings and conducted surveys with staff to gauge levels of awareness.
Abbeyfield are keen to encourage open conversations about menopause, hosting regular ‘sofa sessions’ where staff come together with a cuppa to talk about menopause, either face-to-face or virtually. The sessions are friendly and relaxed and open to everyone, from those experiencing menopause themselves, to those who want to find out more, perhaps to support a family member.
Gail Manley, Abbeyfield HR Director, said,
“We have worked hard to achieve this accreditation and are absolutely delighted with the accolade, but most importantly we are proud to be helping our staff through what can be a very difficult part of their lives. Supporting our female employees through the menopause is an integral part of our wellbeing strategy and we are passionate about continuing to ensure we are a menopause friendly employer.”
Paul Tennant, Abbeyfield CEO, said,
“As a sheltered housing and care provider, upwards of 80% of our workforce are female and over 40% of our female employees are over the age of 50. Alongside this, our residents can be as young as 55, so we see the wider benefit of promoting menopause awareness in terms of customer service provision. We recognise that menopause affects women in a variety of ways, and providing support around these issues is an ongoing priority for Abbeyfield.”
The Rt. Hon. Caroline Noakes MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, added:
“Employers have a crucial role to play in supporting women working through menopause and I applaud those organisations making that extra effort to achieve Menopause Friendly Accreditation. To be truly menopause friendly, employers must put in place policies alongside training and awareness protocols for all colleagues, address both physical and mental wellbeing considerations and be prepared to make practical changes to the workplace environment.
“I consider the Menopause Friendly Accreditation as a kitemark of excellence for menopause in the workplace.
Employers who achieve this should display this badge with pride as it shows employees, stakeholders, customers, business associates and industry at large that they have gone above and beyond to change the lived experience of those working through menopause.”